Hart reacting well to City axe, says Pellegrini

OUT of favour goalkeeper Joe Hart will again be given a watching brief when Manchester City take on CSKA Moscow in the Champions League tonight, but manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed the stopper is supportive of the decision to be dropped to the substitutes bench.

Following a string of errors for England and City already this season, Hart was dropped for Saturday’s 7-0 demolition of Norwich and replacement Costel Pantilimon is set to retain his place between the posts.

An extended omission from the first team could be costly to Hart’s England career with back-to-back friendlies at Wembley later this month and the World Cup to come at the end of the season.

But Pellegrini has been impressed with Hart’s attitude since being involuntarily sidelined.

“I think Joe has reacted very well. He is a professional player,” said Pellegrini.

“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 has played all the matches for two-and-a-half years.

“We will see in the future what we must do. For today, Pantilimon is playing.”

Victory for City will seal their progress to the knockout stages for the first time in the club’s history.

They will be without captain Vincent Kompany (groin) and striker Stevan Jovetic (calf), but Pellegrini knows the importance of advancing from Group D.

“For Manchester City it would be a really great achievement,” he added. “For a club that is trying to grow every day to go to the next round is very important.”