• Football

Pellegrini undecided on Hart

ESPN staff
November 22, 2013 « Haye convinced Groves can make the step up | Chartbeat test »
Hart's struggles this season have been well-documented © PA Photos
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Manuel Pellegrini admitted he faces a selection dilemma whether to recall Joe Hart against Tottenham on Sunday but said he was encouraged by the goalkeeper's fine performance for England against Germany.

The Manchester City manager has omitted the 26-year-old from his team for the last four matches, preferring Costel Pantilimon instead, after Hart made mistakes that cost his side goals against Cardiff, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

But Pellegrini believes it helped Hart that he returned to form in his country's colours, when he made several fine saves.

"I think he did very well," the Chilean said. "It was very important for him. It was most useful to play the game."

Pellegrini is set to select his side the day before the game and, asked if Hart would be starting, replied: "I don't know. We will see tomorrow [Saturday] the starting 11."

The former Malaga manager praised Hart for his positive approach during his time on the bench and said the Englishman has proved an ally to Pantilimon during the Romanian's time in goal.

He added: "Joe didn't change when he was playing or on the bench. His attitude was really professional and very good for the team. He was the same player when he played and when he didn't play.

"He was always supporting Pantilimon and talking in the dressing room so he was doing very well."

Matija Nastasic and Fernandinho, who both missed City's 1-0 defeat to Sunderland with minor knocks, are fit to return.

Pellegrini added: "Nastasic played with his international squad. Also Fernandinho worked the whole week without any problem."

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