• Premier League

Pellegrini backs under-fire Hart

ESPN staff
August 16, 2013
Joe Hart was at fault for Scotland's opening goal at Wembley on Wednesday © Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini has backed Joe Hart to rediscover the form that made him the best goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Hart made a series of mistakes last season and blundered again on Wednesday as James Morrison gave Scotland the lead in England's 3-2 friendly victory at Wembley.

While Roy Hodgson has said Hart, 26, faces a fight to hold onto the No. 1 spot for his country, Pellegrini has given him his full backing.

"I think Joe Hart has to demonstrate why he is the best goalkeeper in England every week he plays," Pellegrini said. "He is a very important goalkeeper, I have a lot of trust in him. Everyone can make an error but I have a lot of trust in him and I am sure he will again this year show why he is the No. 1 in England."

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Pellegrini is yet to discuss the England match with Hart but is considering having a word with him, adding: "I haven't spoken with him, maybe [I will] tomorrow."

Meanwhile, City have been buoyed by the news that Matija Nastasic and Sergio Aguero have made swifter-than-expected recoveries from injuries.

Nastasic, who suffered an ankle problem in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy, is back in training and, while he is not in contention to face Newcastle on Monday, the defender should be able to make his comeback at Cardiff next Sunday.

Pellegrini added: "He is not ready for the next match but next week he will work normally with the whole squad."

Aguero has not featured at all in City's pre-season friendlies because of an ankle injury and missed Argentina's midweek win over Italy, but Pellegrini could call upon the striker against Newcastle.

He said: "Maybe. He has no problem. He worked with us normally for the last ten days so he is not a problem."

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