Hart has nothing to prove to Manchester City or Guardiola - Dyche

Joe Hart
Joe Hart
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Joe Hart is set to play against Manchester City for the first time on Saturday, after spending 12 years with the Blues.

Hart’s service, playing 348 games as he helped City win the league twice and an FA Cup, had led to a training pitch being named in his honour at the Etihad Campus.

But Sean Dyche isn’t interested in the past, and feels Hart has nothing to prove to City and Pep Guardiola, who froze him out, spending a season on loan with Torino and West Ham before a summer move to Turf Moor.

Dyche said: "I think to be fair, if you take away the noise I don't think there's ever been any real problem with him, the manager or the club.

"Everyone knows what a good servant he's been there. He's been a big part of what their recent history. He did very well for them.

"If they are recognising him in this way (the training pitch) then fantastic. It's good for him and a classy touch from them I think.

"But I didn't bring him here to prove a point to anyone. In my opinion he's another top class goalkeeper that we've got here. Another one.

"I don't want to speak for him, but I don't see why he's got any point to prove - other than to himself. To continue to show what a top class keeper he is."

Hart is getting back to his best after finding a permanent home after spells in Turin and East London, and Dyche wasn’t concerned by his perceived dip in form, which saw him go from the 75-cap England number one, to missing out on the squad for the World Cup in Russia altogether: "From a manager's point of view there's different reasons, sometimes you just fit at a club - maybe he didn't at those clubs.

"I wasn't interested in that. I spoke to him about him getting back to being a top class goalie, how we could aid that, what he could do for us.

"How I thought he'd enjoy what we are and what we do. He's professional enough to make sense of his recent history.

"My thoughts are more about the future. What can he bring to affect us.

"Forget the circumstances, he started here with Tom and Popey injured. Beyond that, I was pretty sure he was a top class goalkeeper.

"To get him to the level he's been at before, a lot of that is down to him. He works with a really good keeper coach here.

"Particularly as a goalie, sometimes what's in front of you helps. You want a keeper who can look after you and he wants a back four who he can grow with.

"At the moment, there's a nice connection, possibly at other clubs he didn't find that. But what I do know is he's still a top class keeper. A lot of credit to him for finding his way again. We can only guide people.”

Hart’s list of honours and experience is far above anyone else in the dressing room, and Dyche feels that experience is a big asset: "It can't not help. It has to help. I think he's got a good professional manner. He's a lively character and fits in well with what we are about.

"But when he does rub off on others, that's great. You want those leader types, they are harder to find now. The more you get on the pitch the better. Some lead by example, some are quiet. Joe is lively. He's part of that mix."