Manuel Pellegrini fails to back Joe Hart after error leads to another loss

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Joe Hart may very well have run out of Get Out Of Jail Free cards.

Another high-profile error on the books led to a loss to Chelsea in a massively important matchup.

Following the defeat, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini failed to support his goalkeeper when given the clear opportunity to do so.

“I do it privately with the players,” Pellegrini said when asked about any possible conversation he may have had with Hart about the goal. “What do I think about the goal? I won’t talk about it. What do I think about my goalkeeper’s performance? I repeat, the analysis I do with individual players I do with the players. How is the confidence? You must ask him how his confidence is, I talk just internally with the players.”

An exasperated Pellegrini admitted his patience is running out.

“We repeat the story. We had absolutely the control of the game. We played very, very well in the second half. We didn’t have any problem with Chelsea but finally in the last minute we lost. We are losing stupid points.”

With Manchester City now in seventh position just two points ahead of rivals Manchester United, the situation is getting dire.

Hart has been at the forefront of City’s struggles.  His errors have cost City points at Aston Villa and Cardiff, as well as against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

As The Guardian points out, Hart made a similar error to Saturday’s mishap against Blackburn three years ago which allowed Nikola Kalinic to score, suggesting he may not be learning from his mistakes.

Will Joe Hart continue in goal for Manchester City? The issue Pellegrini faces is that his only other option is the untested Romanian Costel Pantilimon who has not made a single Premier League appearance since arriving at City in January of 2012.

Pellegrini has already publicly told Hart earlier this season his job is not an assurance.  After the loss to Bayern Munich in which Hart made two key errors en route to a 3-1 defeat, Pellegrini insisted Hart’s position is not a lock and that he has confidence in Pantilimon if needed.

It’s certainly possible that Pellegrini chooses to purchase a more well-known goalkeeper in the January transfer window, giving Hart some competition for the spot – something he has not had since he earned the City job in 2007.