Joe Hart has spoken for the first time about being dropped earlier in the season by Manchester City, saying he has not forgotten the pain of being omitted.
Hart, 26, was left on the bench for seven Premier League games in November and December after he made errors in the defeats to Cardiff, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.
But while City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said the England international needed a rest, the goalkeeper sounded ambivalent when asked if his spell out of the team had made him stronger.
He told the club’s matchday programme: “I don’t feel it’s a case of that side of things being really solved.
“I don’t want it to seem as though everything is fine, or that it was that part of my life that I will forget, because I’m still living it and I am trying to live in the moment more recently.
“The past is the past, and we don’t know what lies ahead in the future, so it’s better to live day by day.”
Hart regained his place for the 4-2 win at Fulham on Dec. 21 and has played in every Premier League game since then, although Pellegrini has selected his deputy, Costel Pantilimon, in the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.
But reflecting on being dropped, he said: “It was what it was. I wanted to play, but I wasn’t playing, so I had to work hard and wait for my chance again.
“Xabi [Mancisidor, City’s goalkeeping coach] was a great help and I’ve got people who are very close to me and, good or bad, those are the people that I talk to.
“I try to keep things as neutral as possible. There was definitely a refocus while I was out of the starting line-up and I quite enjoyed it as I tried to get back.”