• Premier League

Caballero issues warning to Hart

ESPN staff
August 12, 2014
Caballero intent on keeping Hart out

Goalkeeper Willy Caballero insists he did not join Manchester City to sit on the bench - and has warned Joe Hart he will fight for the number one spot at the Etihad Stadium this season.

Hart was dropped by Manuel Pellegrini last autumn following a string of high-profile errors, but later recalled, and was an unused substitute for the 3-0 Community Shield defeat to Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.

Afterwards, the City boss refused to offer any guarantees over places, and Caballero, who was first-choice goalkeeper when working with Pellegrini at Malaga, maintains he has his sights set firmly on a regular starting place.

"My ambition is to fight for the position and to be there when the manager needs me," said the 32 year old from Argentina.

"I want to be number one."

He added of the selection battle: "Both of us will train for that chance, but I came to fight for the number one spot."

Caballero was unable to prevent Arsenal recording a convincing victory, beaten by well-worked goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey before second-half substitute Olivier Giroud cracked in a third from 25 yards.

"It was an important match for me. I have a chance to play. I am happy for this, but not for the score," Caballero said.

"I have been training well, but there is no doubt that this was not one of my best games - they attacked three or four times and they scored three goals.

"However, the decision [about who plays] is for the manager."

City completed the £32 million-signing of defender Eliaquim Mangala from Porto on Monday. He joins fellow summer recruits Fernando and Bacary Sagna, signed on a free from Arsenal, as well as Chelsea's former England midfielder Frank Lampard, loaned from New York City.

Caballero is in no doubt the champions, without several regulars at Wembley, will be a force to be reckoned with again next season.

"We have a strong team, we are the Premier League champions, with very good players, but we have things we need to prove," he said.

"Manuel has told all of us that we need to learn game by game, that we have to start the league well, that we have to achieve the most important things in the short term.

"We have to do what we did last year, to win the league.

"We were the best team in the Premier League, [but] we have to improve in the Champions League and we have a good squad to do that."

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