Manchester City v Sunderland: Joe Hart prepared to sit out League Cup final is Manuel Pellegrini sticks with Costel Pantilimon

Hart has regained his position as first choice goalkeeper but Pellegrini has chosen to play Pantilimon in the domestic cups so far this season

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart accepts he may have to sit out the Capital One Cup final.

But the England international insists he will be "man enough" to take it if Costel Pantilimon is preferred for Sunday's Wembley showpiece against Sunderland.

Hart lost his place to Pantilimon for a spell last November and December after a series of high-profile errors.

But since Hart re-established himself as number one towards the end of 2013, manager Manuel Pellegrini has reverted to his default practice of playing second-choice Pantilimon in domestic cup ties.

That means Hart could be left on the bench at Wembley, although Pellegrini has not yet made his selection public.

 

Hart told BBC's Football Focus: "I work hard every day to win, I work hard with every intention of winning and I understand it doesn't always go my way.

"I have got to be man enough to take that. I have got to be responsible for what goes on, for how I react and for how I conduct myself."

Pellegrini was asked which goalkeeper might start when he held his pre-match press conference in Manchester on Friday, but would not be drawn.

"I have already made my decision but unfortunately you cannot know it until Sunday," Pellegrini told reporters on day when he was also hit with a touchline ban by UEFA.

Pantilimon was also guarded when asked about his prospects of playing.

The Romanian said: "Only the manager can say this. I am like all the players, we are ready for this game."

Pellegrini did confirm that top scorer Sergio Aguero was fit again after five games out with a hamstring injury but was unsure whether the 26-goal forward would be ready to start.

Pellegrini said: "Of course it is very important for the team to have Sergio again with us because he is a very important player.

"We must see if he is 100 per cent to play the whole match."

Defender Matija Nastasic and striker Stevan Jovetic are the only players ruled out due to knee and hamstring injuries respectively.

Pellegrini will have to watch City's next two European matches from the stands - including the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona - for recent critical comments about referee Jonas Eriksson.

Pellegrini launched an astonishing attack on Eriksson and appeared to question his integrity after City were beaten 2-0 in the first leg by Barca at the Etihad Stadium last week.

The 60-year-old said the official was "not impartial", suggested he was trying to make amends for injustices against Barcelona in a previous game and questioned why an official from Sweden was appointed.

He did apologise but that did not spare him punishment as UEFA found him guilty of a breach of disciplinary regulations. A further one-match ban was suspended for two years.

A statement from the European governing body pointed out that Pellegrini "may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match; and he may not communicate directly or indirectly with his players and/or technical staff" during the ban.

He does have the right to appeal but City have not yet commented.

PA

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments