Joe Hart Manchester City
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart cools his heels on the bench in the Capital One Cup fourth round tie against Newcastle, October 30Reuters

Manuel Pellegrini hinted he could keep Costel Pantilimon in goal for the English Premier League game against Norwich at the weekend at the expense of Joe Hart, after the reserve goalkeeper impressed in the Capital One Cup fourth round fixture at Newcastle.

All eyes were on Pantilimon and Hart, sitting on the bench, after the latter's costly error cost City at least a point in their high-profile clash against Chelsea last weekend.

Hart has been under scrutiny for much of this season, following a string of mistakes, and Pantilimon made it even more difficult for the England goalkeeper with an assured performance against Newcastle, where he made some absolutely vital saves to, first keep the game 0-0 at normal time before ensuring the clean sheet remained in extra time as City ran out 2-0 winners.

Pellegrini said he was not surprised by Pantilimon's performance, but refused to commit to the keeper keeping his place in the first XI for the Premier League games.

"Pantilimon has always had my trust and that of the team," Pellegrini said. "He is a good player, that's why he is here. He may not have played too much because Joe Hart plays last year and this year but I trust him to play.

"I think for him and the team to keep a clean sheet today was important. He is a very good goalkeeper and he normally plays in the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup. This was a very important match for him.

"But I will start to think about the game against Norwich on Thursday. Today (Wednesday) I was just thinking about winning this match. I think that we will talk tomorrow [about the team selection]. One goalkeeper can play but the other will have our full support. We will think about it."

City next travel to Leicester City in the Capital One Cup quarterfinals, and Pellegrini refused to take their Championship opponents for granted. "I'm not thinking it's an easy tie," Pellegrini added. "Leicester continue in this cup because they beat Fulham and that is not an easy team so we suppose we will have a very difficult match and if we want to win we will have to play very well.

"It's important for my squad to have minutes to play, especially those who are not playing in the Premier League and Champions League. We played a very good game (against Newcastle) and deserved to win."

Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew rued a missed chance from Papiss Cisse just prior to the opening goal from Manchester City. Cisse, one-on-one with Pantilimon, failed to find a way past the City goalkeeper, before Alvaro Negredo opened the scoring in the 99th minute, with Edin Dzeko then making the game safe six minutes later.

"If that goes in it could've been different," Pardew said. "I think it was obvious the first goal would be crucial and they got it. David Silva had a big influence when he came on but before that I thought we were the better side.

"I'm disappointed for the fans and our players because they put on a terrific show after the disappointment of Sunday [a loss against Sunderland]. It was just a shame we couldn't get the goal we deserved."