Manchester City’s Joe Hart, who has recently been struggling to get into the first-team after a series of errors in 2013, recently returned to the starting line-up against Viktoria Plzen. City managed to win the match 4-2, but Hart was looking like his old self against the Champions League opponents.
This display pleased midfielder James Milner, who was also starting the match. The England international has been relegated to the bench in recent weeks due to the impressive form of Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas.
He was given a rare start in the team since the club had already qualified for the knockout stages. Milner has said that there is no change in the performances of Hart, and this shows that he remains a great professional. Hart has committed crucial mistakes against the likes of Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Chelsea this campaign. He has missed the last few matches for the club after Manuel Pellegrini has opted for Costel Pantilimon. Even though the performances of Pantilimon have not been extraordinary, he has done enough to keep his place in the team.
“Nothing’s changed for him. He keeps going, keeps working hard. He’s pulling off great saves in games when he’s getting opportunities. He’s a great pro and he knows he’s just waiting for his chance and hopefully he can take it when it comes. We’re a squad and we’re going to need all of the squad to win anything. It’s important everyone contributes when they play,” said Milner after the match.
It remains to be seen if Pantilimon will now be dropped in favour of Hart, but the England number one did concede two goals against Viktoria Plzen. Milner has had only five starts this season with the remaining nine coming as a substitute. He is yet to open the scoring this campaign.