Hart holds on to City starting role

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed that goalkeeper Joe Hart will retain his place between the posts on Thursday in Romania.

Last Updated: 18/08/10 at 14:24

Hart: Will start in goal for City

Hart: Will start in goal for City

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However, City will be without summer signings Aleksandar Kolarov and Jerome Boateng through injury for the Europa League play-off first leg against FC Timisoara.

Hart was outstanding in the goalless draw against Tottenham on Saturday after being handed the jersey in preference to Shay Given.

Mancini sees no reason to change things, which could push the experienced Republic of Ireland international closer to the exit door.

"Joe Hart will play, " said the City boss.

"I had a very difficult choice to make before the Spurs game because I have two world-class goalkeepers. It is difficult for one of them to sit on the bench.

"I respect Shay Given a lot. He is a good man and I want him to stay, but I also understand any decision he might make."

Former Lazio left-back Kolarov damaged ankle ligaments at White Hart Lane and it is unclear how long he will be sidelined for.

Boateng, who arrived from Hamburg, is likely to be out of action for a couple of weeks after the defender suffered a deep cut on the inside of his knee.

Mancini told the club's website he will freshen up his side.

"I will make maybe two or three changes but we have the players that allow me to do that," he said.

"I was pleased with the spirit and the fight at Tottenham. They are a good side that has been together for a long period of time.

"They were very good in the first half but we played well in the second and had 61% of possession. To dominate the ball like we did was excellent.

"We still need time to gel as a unit - I only had all the players for one day before the match, so I want to see more of them in this tie."

Manchester City (from): Hart, Given, Richards, Zabaleta, Lescott, K Toure, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Johnson, Barry, Silva, Vieira, De Jong, Y Toure, Tevez, Adebayor, Robinho, Santa Cruz, Balotelli, Jo, Cunningham, Logan.

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