• Champions League

Pellegrini: Being dropped good for Hart

ESPN staff
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Pellegrini: Being dropped will help Hart


Joe Hart believes being dropped by Manchester City is in his best interests, according to manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Hart, 26, was omitted for Saturday's Premier League win against Norwich and will sit out Tuesday's Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow, with Costel Pantilimon set to deputise in goal for him once again.

The England international had been an automatic choice in both competitions since replacing Shay Given as City's first-choice goalkeeper in 2010, but has made a series of mistakes in the last year.

And Pellegrini felt Hart needed a break after a busy workload and says he has since produced the right response.

"Joe reacted very well," Pellegrini said. "He is a professional player. For him it is also a good thing to have a rest after playing so many matches. He is working without any problem and supporting Costel Pantilimon. Nobody wants to be out but he thinks it will be useful for him.

"I don't know when Joe will come back to the team. It is very important for him to have a rest. He played all the matches for two-and-a-half years. Pantilimon will play [against CSKA]."

Victory against CSKA at the Etihad Stadium will take City through to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time.

And Pellegrini added: "For Manchester City, it will be a very great achievement. We all know what happened in the last two years, they couldn't go to the round of 16. For a club that is trying to grow every day, to go to the next round is very important."

Meanwhile, Pellegrini admitted he was bemused that CSKA Moscow denied their fans racially abused Yaya Toure during last month's Champions League clash.

"The fans of CSKA made an important mistake," Pellegrini said. "I don't know why the club denied at the beginning or what their reaction is now but UEFA acted and gave them the punishment they deserve. I hope we can leave it in the past."

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