Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini backs Joe Hart after poor performance for England

The keeper was at fault for the first Scotland goal

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has backed Joe Hart to defy critics and prove he is England's best goalkeeper.

Hart's status as England's first choice has come under renewed scrutiny after an error in the midweek friendly against Scotland at Wembley.

The 26-year-old was widely thought to have slipped below the high standards he set during City's 2011-12 title-winning campaign last season.

England boss Roy Hodgson has backed his keeper but added that form will be important in a season he hopes will end with a trip to the World Cup in Brazil.

Pellegrini said: "I haven't spoken with him - maybe tomorrow we will (speak) - but I think Joe Hart has to demonstrate why he is the best goalkeeper in England every week he plays.

"He is a very important goalkeeper, I have a lot of trust in him.

"Everyone can make an error in one match but personally I have a lot of trust in Joe Hart.

"I don't have any problem with his performance. I am sure he will again this year demonstrate why is the number one in England."

City begin their latest Barclays Premier League campaign when they host Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

Pellegrini's appointment over the summer, coupled with the new signings of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, has changed the mood at the club.

Last season ended on a sour note as City conceded the title to Manchester United and were beaten by underdogs Wigan in the FA Cup final.

Pellegrini is happy with how his squad has settled and is ready for the twin challenges of the Premier League and Champions League.

He said: "I am very pleased. I think we have the squad we need for the year, for important competitions - not only for the Premier League but also the Champions League."

City's summer signings were all completed early in the close-season window but Pellegrini has not ruled out further additions before the transfer deadline on September 2.

It has been suggested City could attempt to sign another defender after Matija Nastasic was injured playing in the Asia Trophy last month.

Pellegrini said: "We will see. We don't need to finish today. Maybe not, but maybe yes also."

Nastasic, however, appears to be making good progress in his recovery from his ankle problem.

There were fears the Serbian could miss the first month of the campaign but he now looks set to resume full training next week after taking part in a light session part open to media on Friday.

Pellegrini said: "I am not surprised because we saw him work hard in the last week.

"He is not ready for the next match but I think next week he will work normally with the whole squad."

Striker Sergio Aguero is in contention to face the Magpies after overcoming the knee injury that has prevented him playing during pre-season.

Pellegrini said: "He is fine, no problem. He has worked with us normally for the last 10 days so he is not a problem."

Pellegrini, speaking at a regular press conference to preview the Newcastle match, also revealed winger Scott Sinclair could be allowed out on loan.

The 24-year-old failed to make a major impact after joining City in a £6.2million move from Swansea last summer, making just three starts.

He missed the end of last season after requiring surgery to remove a blood clot but has made a full recovery and has been linked with a temporary switch to West Brom.

West Ham and Crystal Palace are also reportedly interested in a player who, after coming through the youth ranks at Chelsea, has been out on loan six times during his career.

Pellegrini said: "Scott Sinclair is here and in the squad.

"He wants to play more and in this squad he has important players that play in the same position.

"We will see what happens with him today and tomorrow but if he wants to go on loan to play more, we will try to give him that, only if he agrees to it."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum