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No Guardiola grudges for former Man City goalkeeper Hart

By Opta
England and Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart

Burnley, September 14: Joe Hart is "cool" with Pep Guardiola despite the Manchester City manager allowing him to leave after preferring other options in goal.

Hart joined Burnley in the transfer window after spending the last two seasons out on loan from City at Serie A side Torino and West Ham respectively.

The England goalkeeper won four Premier League Golden Glove awards during his time in Manchester, where he claimed a brace of Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two EFL Cups.

And Hart, who is keeping fellow international goalkeeper Tom Heaton out of the Burnley team, is happy to have left City in the past after ending a 12-year association with the reigning champions.

"I'm cool with Pep, I think he's a top manager," Hart told Sky Sports. "He came in and was dead honest with me.

"I looked him in the eye and shook his hand, I thanked him for his honesty. I didn't thank him for his opinion, but his honesty was second to none. We tried to make the best of a bad situation for both of us.

"It is what it is. I moved on, worked hard, trained with City, I was welcomed back the last couple of pre-seasons. It could have easily been awkward, but it wasn't.

"I made it clear to City that I didn't want to go on loan again, I had one year left on my contract. Like I've said before, it was a kind of strange situation for me. I know what qualities I bring, I know what I've done, and what I can still do, but people weren't banging the door down for me. That's the truth.

"In my opinion I think loans are for younger players trying to improve, who have got the whole world in front of them. You've got no real ground, no real base or backing as a loan player. I'm grateful I'm here with Burnley, and I'm really enjoying it."

Guardiola's lack of faith in Hart was widely reported to be down to the 31-year-old's perceived lack of ability to play the ball out from the back.

Willy Caballero and then Claudio Bravo were favoured by the Catalan boss, before he spent a reported £35million on Ederson last year.

And Hart, who harbours hopes of an England recall despite making no Three Lions appearances in 2018, indicated he does not agree with the criticism of his game.

"I do what the manager asks of me, to the best of my ability. I'm not saying I'm brilliant or saying I'm perfect," Hart added. "That's probably the most high-profile thing to happen to me over the last couple of years, comments like that, rather than what actually counts.

"If I was asked to play for England tomorrow I'd be ready. But at the moment, managers are always going to have opinions. I can only get myself as I can, to the highest of my level, and then it's up to everyone else.

"Stuff out of my hands is out of my hands, how people want to play it is up to them. I am going to continue to push, Burnley is obviously my priority, and whatever happens, happens. I could have had a long summer where I felt sorry for myself, but I love it too much, I love challenges."

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    Story first published: Friday, September 14, 2018, 1:20 [IST]
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