Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has no issue with goalkeeper Joe Hart despite excluding him from his first Premier League starting XI.
Argentina’s Willy Caballero played in goal for City in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sunderland with Hart on the bench.
Asked how England international Hart, 29, took the news of his omission, Guardiola said: “He reacted well.
“I have a lot of respect for Joe. I know how good a goalkeeper he is, but I decided for Willy.”
The Spaniard, who took over from Manuel Pellegrini in the summer, said: “In the end I have a squad and I decide what I see.
“I have to create a team spirit. It’s not about tactics, it’s not about anything, and I decided today for this line-up.”
Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright believes Hart is the superior keeper but said he has work to do to impress Guardiola.
“It leaves Hart with a lot to think about,” said the former Arsenal striker. “Coming off the Euros and some high-profile mistakes, he has to suck it up, be professional and get himself going again.
“I don’t think Caballero is a better keeper than Joe.”
Guardiola also left fully fit midfielder Yaya Toure and defender Eliaquim Mangala out of his squad. Midfielder Samir Nasri is still not match fit.
He said: “I have no complaints about these names. Yaya trained really good, Samir arrived a little bit overweight but in the last one or two weeks he has been training amazing. I am really impressed with his quality. Mangala, you know better than me how professional he is.”
Argentina striker Sergio Aguero opened the scoring against the Black Cats from the penalty spot before Jermain Defoe equalised in the 71st minute.
Paddy McNair, who recently signed for Sunderland, inadvertently headed into his own net in the 87th minute to give City victory.
Guardiola praised winger Raheem Sterling for his performance. The England winger won the early penalty when he was brought down in the area by Patrick van Aanholt.
“Sterling was amazing. That is what we need. People to play wide and have the quality to go one on one, on the outside, inside, right, left. That is important. He is a fighter,” said Guardiola.
City’s next match is on Tuesday when they play Steaua Bucharest in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier.
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