Pellegrini backs Hart to return to his best for Manchester City

The former Malaga boss feels that the England international will soon regain his old form, but would not confirm whether he will get the opportunity to prove him right on Sunday

Manuel Pellegrini believes Joe Hart will regain his best form as a result of his spell on the Manchester City bench.

The goalkeeper was dropped in favour of Costel Pantilimon at the end of October following a run of high-profile errors, but turned out for England against Germany on Tuesday.

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And while Pellegrini refused to confirm if Hart will return to his starting line-up for the game against Tottenham on Sunday, the Chilean did predict that he will be all the better for his period on the sidelines.

"I think at this moment that maybe Joe needs a rest but we still have a lot of trust in Joe and he's still a very important player in our squad," Pellegrini told Sky Sports News Arabia.

"I am absolutely sure that this will be an important thing for him to come back to his performances of the last two years."

Pantilimon has started City’s last four games, having previously only featured in a handful of domestic cup ties since joining the club in 2011.

Goal has previously reported that City are monitoring a number of options to challenge Hart in the long-term, with Willy Caballero top of the list and Iker Casillas also in the mix.

In the interim, however, Pellegrini feels it is only fair that Pantilimon is given an opportunity to impress after biding his time on the bench.

"It's very important for me as a manager - you don't have 11 players - you have 22,” he said.

"I analyse what they do every week - I talk with them."