Tony Cascarino: 'Manuel Pellegrini right to drop Joe Hart'

Man City's Joe Hart in action against Viktoria Plzen during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013
© Getty Images
Talking to Sports Mole, Tony Cascarino says that Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini was given no choice but to drop Joe Hart.

Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino has told Sports Mole that Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was right to drop goalkeeper Joe Hart.

The England number one fell out of favour with the City boss earlier this season after a handful of errors, particularly away from the Etihad Stadium, which cost the 2012 champions points in the Premier League.

It was a decision that was met by scepticism from some pundits, while England manager Roy Hodgson has backed the 26-year-old to regain his place in time for next summer's World Cup.

However, Cascarino, now an analyst for The Times, has insisted that Hart left Pellegrini with little choice but to remove him from the starting lineup.

"If you are looking for a scapegoat, it's not very nice, but Joe Hart has made mistakes in a lot of the away games. Whether it be Cardiff [City], [Aston] Villa or at Chelsea, he made big errors that have cost them," he said.

"If they stop making mistakes from the goalkeeper, which has happened with Hart, they will be fine and will win lots of football matches. If you are playing for a top side and are a striker that misses lots of chances, you'll get dropped.

"It's got to be the same with a goalkeeper, you can't keep your place. You can't continue with a goalkeeper that is making vital errors in big games that sees you lose points. A manager can't do that and Pellegrini has made totally the right decision."

Hart has sat out City's last four Premier League fixtures, but he did feature during a recent Champions League match against Czech side Viktoria Plzen.

Watch Tony Cascarino's Monday Inquest on The Times Goals, which brings subscribers Premier League goals and highlights before anyone else on mobile, tablet and online. Visit www.TheTimes.co.uk/football to find out more.

England manager Roy Hodgson looks on prior to the international friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2013
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