Last Updated: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:51
Manuel Pellegrini's refusal to back goalkeeper Joe Hart following Manchester City's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea suggests he could be axed.
The City boss was quizzed about the England international future as his number one custodian following a late mix-up with defender Matija Nastasic which resulted in Fernando Torres scoring a 90th-minute winner for the hosts at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
It is not the first time this season that an error from Hart has resulted in an opposition goal with Pellegrini previously warning him that he is not immune from being dropped following a shaky display against Bayern Munich in the 3-1 Champions League defeat at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.
And, on the back of his mistake against Chelsea, the Chilean tactician refused to either back the player or confirm that he will be out of the side for their next Premier League game against Norwich on Saturday.
When quizzed about his plans for Hart, he said: "I do it privately with the players."
Costel Pantilimon is waiting in the wings to replace Hart and is likely to be given a chance to stake his claim at Newcastle in Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie.
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.