• Premier League

Hart left sweating on City No.1 spot

ESPN staff
August 11, 2014
Pellegrini: My team weren't ready

Manuel Pellegrini has refused to confirm whether Joe Hart will be his Manchester City No.1 when the Premier League season kicks off next weekend.

Hart was an unused substitute as Willy Caballero was preferred in the Premier League champions' starting line-up for the 3-0 Community Shield defeat to FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley.

Joe Hart and Willy Caballero warm up © Getty Images

"All the 22 players that we have in our squad must demonstrate who is No.1 in all positions," Pellegrini said.

"The goalkeeper and the other positions of the team are exactly the same.

"Joe finished last season playing very well. We'll see next Sunday which XI starts against Newcastle [in the Premier League]."

With captain Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and numerous other established members of the first-choice line-up watching from the stands, City's fringe players did little to impress at Wembley.

After the disappointing performance, Pellegrini said he will make a decision next week on whether those back from World Cup duty can play at St James' Park.

He said: "It was not the day today to make pressure for different players. It was one game more for pre-season.

"We have seven players who have just worked for five days. They were not considered for this game. We have another five players who have just worked for eight or nine days.

"It's difficult to be ready in two weeks. Aguero, [Pablo] Zabaleta, [Martin] Demichelis, Kompany, [Bacary] Sagna, Fernandino - they just arrived seven days ago. They started working on Monday.

"They will have 15 days before we start the Premier League, so we'll see during the week which of them are ready and which of them are not ready."

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