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Premier League

Mancini defends "cocky" Hart

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants goalkeeper Joe Hart to keep his "cocky" streak, despite recent criticism from Roy Keane.

Hart, 25, has been noted for his attitude before with Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo claiming he dinked his winning penalty against England in Euro 2012 because of the Three Lions international's attempt to intimidate him by shouting and waving his arms.

And former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain Keane was also critical of the goalkeeper earlier this week.

"There's a fine line between confident and cocky, and I think he's been a little bit too cocky this year," Keane said.

However, Mancini believes cockiness is important for a keeper and he does not want his player to change his game at all.

"Every keeper is like this," Mancini said. "It is important because it's different to another position. If you want to be a keeper, you should be cocky.

"Joe is a good guy, he works very hard, he wants to improve."

And rather than concentrating on the comments from a figure of United's past, in the shape of Keane, he would prefer to focus on praise from one of Sir Alex Ferguson's current team.

Wayne Rooney said he thought Hart was the world's best keeper after the City No. 1's performance in their Champions League 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.

"Last week, Rooney said on Twitter that Joe is the best keeper in the world but today he is cocky," Mancini said.

"It is my opinion that Joe is the best keeper in England and one of the best in Europe. Sometimes a keeper can make a mistake but this is normal."

Meanwhile, Mancini also revealed that summer signing Maicon, who is sidelined with a heel injury, could make a return against Swansea on October 27.


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