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City should start Hart

Jose Mourinho may have been complaining about Chelsea's fixtures but Manchester City complete a tough, three away games on the spin with a trip to Newcastle on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 03/11/13 at 12:56 Post Comment

Joe Hart: Late error cost City a point at Chelsea

Joe Hart: Late error cost City a point at Chelsea

After winning at CSKA Moscow and then throwing away a point against Chelsea in the dying moments on Sunday, they continue their Capital One Cup campaign with a visit to St James' Park.

There's no question this tournament is of less value to Manuel Pellegrini and his team than the Champions League - which seems to be his main priority - the Premier League and the FA Cup. But trophies aren't easy to come by and they shouldn't allow this opportunity to pass by easily.

They'll certainly come up against a fired-up Newcastle side, who will be hoping to respond to a disappointing defeat to Sunderland on Sunday.

The best way of getting over a derby defeat is to win your next game. I remember Newcastle beating us 5-1 when I was at Sunderland. We went on a run after that game and, while it didn't eradicate the memory of that defeat, it certainly helped - and Newcastle have an opportunity to do that against a top team who are a little shaken after scraping through a Champions League game and then surrendering a draw at Chelsea.

Joe Hart has come in for criticism for his error against Chelsea and there's speculation, as there was a couple of weeks ago, that Costel Pantilimon will come in for him.

But I was in Moscow and saw the City players all run over to Hart at the full-time whistle because he'd won them the match with his breathtaking save from Keisuke Honda in injury time.

A silly decision had enormous consequences on Sunday but is it enough to see him dropped? I don't think so. I personally wouldn't drop him but it will be interesting to see what Pellegrini does and if Pantilimon gets his chance.

For the sake of his confidence, I'd stick with Hart. After a couple of clean sheets, this could all be forgotten.

Pellegrini will have to get his team selection right, though, because Newcastle will put out a strong side and the Magpies are a far better team at home.

I think Newcastle will make it a nervous night for a shell-shocked City camp but there are a lot of players itching to get into that City first XI - players of real quality - and I think the likes of James Milner, who will be coming in, will see City through this tight one.

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