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Pellegrini will rotate keepers


Joe Hart, pictured, faces a fight for his place with Willy Caballero

Joe Hart, pictured, faces a fight for his place with Willy Caballero

Joe Hart, pictured, faces a fight for his place with Willy Caballero

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has warned goalkeeper Joe Hart that he can expect to sit out games this season.

But Pellegrini insists it is not a case of dropping the England number one - who faces greater competition for his place following the signing of Willy Caballero - but of rotation.

Hart did lose his place last autumn after a series of errors and was replaced by Costel Pantilimon, but he returned and had a strong second half of the season.

The 27-year-old has started the new Barclays Premier League campaign as first choice but was partially at fault for Mame Biram Diouf's breakaway winner in Stoke's shock victory at Eastlands a fortnight ago.

That raised the possibility of Caballero, who played under Pellegrini at Malaga, taking over but the City manager says he will make full use of both keepers this term.

Pellegrini said: "Of course Willy Caballero can be in any team, he's a very good goalkeeper. In this moment I'm playing Joe Hart but he will have his opportunity soon.

"Willy has a good career behind him. It's important to have competition in every position in the team, not just with Joe Hart and Willy Caballero.

"Replacing Joe Hart with Willy Caballero doesn't make a difference - just as (replacing) Zabaleta with Sagna or Mangala with Demichelis or Dzeko with Aguero, it's exactly the same.

"We need a squad if we want to win something."

Pellegrini assured Hart he will not be dropped on the basis of any isolated errors.

The Chilean said: "I am not waiting for Joe Hart to make a mistake to change him for Willy Caballero.

"Willy Caballero and Joe Hart know that I'm not waiting for Joe to make a first mistake and take out Joe Hart.

"Maybe last year Joe didn't start very well but he finished very well."

Pellegrini also refused to point the finger at Hart for Diouf's goal.

A number of players failed to make challenges as the Senegal forward raced from just outside his own area and then shot through Hart's legs.

Pellegrini said: "I analyse the goals and individual mistakes with the players.

"I analyse the goals with the whole team and I think a lot of players were involved in (conceding) that goal."

City face a tough week with a trip to Arsenal on Saturday followed by a midweek Champions League game at Bayern Munich and then a visit from Chelsea.

The intense schedule is likely to mean some changes but Pellegrini would not be drawn on whether it would mark the start of any goalkeeper rotation.

He said: "I really don't know, we'll see game by game. We'll play against Arsenal and one hour and 15 minutes before kick-off you will know which goalkeeper starts."

PA Media