Given stuck on the bench as Mancini keeps faith with Hart
ROBERTO MANCINI has further clouded Shay Given’s long-term future at Manchester City by insisting he will keep faith with Joe Hart for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Red Bull Salzburg.
Hart was at fault for Blackburn’s goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Eastlands when he raced out of his penalty area before gifting a goalscoring opportunity to Rovers forward Nikola Kalinic.
And despite suggesting last month that he would use the European fixtures as an opportunity for Given to maintain his match sharpness, City manager Mancini has now admitted that he will select Hart against the Austrians.
“It is a difficult decision for me because Shay is a strong goalkeeper like Joe, but at this moment this is my choice,” Mancini said. “We are involved in four competitions and I’m sure Shay will play in Europe at some point, but I will continue to play Joe on Thursday.
“Against Blackburn, Joe called for the ball and that’s why Kolo Toure didn’t play it. This hasn’t shaken my belief in him. Joe is a good goalkeeper, like Shay, and this sort of situation can happen for a goalkeeper during the season. Joe is still young but he is strong enough mentally not to let this bother him.”
Summer signing David Silva has yet to justify his £24m transfer fee since arriving from Valencia, but Mancini is ready to start with the Spanish forward following an impressive substitute appearance against Blackburn.
Meanwhile, the English FA has charged Everton manager David Moyes and his assistant Steve Round with improper conduct over their confrontation with referee Martin Atkinson after the match against Manchester United at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Moyes was furious that, having seen his side pull level with two goals in injury-time, Atkinson then denied them the chance of a winner when he blew for full-time just as Phil Jagielka was about to fire at the visitors’ goal. Moyes and Round both raced on to the pitch at the final whistle to confront the match officials. (© Daily Telegraph, London)