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Hart set to stay on the bench

JOE HART is likely to remain on the bench as Manchester City look to take another stride towards the Champions League last 16 this week.

The England goalkeeper lost his place in the City side on Saturday as manager Manuel Pellegrini decided his costly mistake in the previous week's loss at Chelsea was one error too many. Hart could only watch as City crushed Norwich 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium, a game in which his replacement Costel Pantilimon was hardly called into action.

On that basis it would seem harsh to axe the Romanian and so Hart may again find himself playing back-up for tomorrow's visit of CSKA Moscow in Champions League Group D.

Midfielder Fernandinho believes what has happened to Hart is a strong reminder of the high standards demanded at Eastlands.

The Brazilian said: "If the quality is a bit off you must work harder to recover your position and your best quality. If he at the moment is not (at his best), he must work more hard.

"But they are very good keepers, he and Pantilimon. I think his career will be better for it.

"The manager must choose the best team, and the best keeper for the team. They are both very good goalkeepers."