Pep Guardiola has explained his decision to drop Joe Hart for Willy Caballero for Manchester City’s opening Premier League fixture against Sunderland.
The England international was resigned to the bench against the Black Cats, leading to suggestions he does not have a future at the Etihad Stadium under the Spanish coach.
The decision to play Caballero was certainly rewarded, as although the keeper had little to do, City came away from the game with all three points after Paddy McNair’s own goal ensured Guardiola claimed a win on his City debut.
If Caballero had been at fault for a City loss, the reaction to Guardiola’s decision would have been much more negative, but the 45-year-old backed his choice to leave Hart on the bench.
Guardiola explained: “Willy played really good in pre-season, and he’s experienced and helped us in the build-up. Of course Joe is an amazing goalkeeper, I just decided.
“Always in my history at Barcelona and Bayern Munich I played all the squad. I’m not just a guy who just plays with 11 players. Everyone is going to play, and today I decided on these guys.”
Barcelona stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is reportedly a target for Guardiola as he looks to replace Hart, but the coach revealed that the current City man wants to prove he is good enough to claim back the starting role at the Etihad.
When asked if Hart is going to fight for his City future, Guardiola said: “Of course. They are professionals, so they want to fight and they want to play.”