Hart will get reception he deserves on Manchester City return - Mee

Joe Hart
Joe Hart
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Boyhood Manchester City fan Ben Mee feels Joe Hart will get the reception he deserves on his first return to the Etihad Stadium.

Hart, who has had a training pitch named after him at the Etihad Campus, won five major trophies in a 12-year stay with the Blues.

The two-time Premier League winner never got chance to say a proper goodbye to fans who adored him, but he will be back between the sticks, only in opposition tomorrow as he plays against City for the first time in his career.

Mee is another City old boy, having captained the club to the FA Youth Cup, and feels Hart will have extra motivation to shine.

Asked whether Hart has a point to prove, Mee said: “Yeah, you have to ask him that, but I’m sure there’s something there. It’s always good to go back to places you’ve played.

“He has been, I guess, written off in the past, but he’s still a top keeper and I’m sure he wants to prove he’s still a top keeper.

“I think he’s still got a lot to offer and show he’s still a top goalkeeper.”

Hart spent the last two seasons of his time at City on loan at Torino and West Ham, but was first choice for much of his time in Manchester, after ousting Shay Given, and Mee added: “He’s well thought of at the club for what he did over the years. He was there a long time, yeah, I’m sure he will get a very good reception.

“He’s well thought of.

“I think I was playing in his first game when he arrived at City, so I knew him from a young lad. He’s a good lad.

“I remember watching him and went to see him when he made it into the first team. It’s great to see how well he’s done.

“He’s a good personality, he’s a big personality in the squad. He brings experience to our game.”

Hart’s arrival means Burnley have three of the last five goalkeepers capped by England on their books, and Mee feels he has been a great addition: “He’s a good character, a big character and an experienced character. To have someone of his experience around the group always helps.

“I get on well personally with him, so it’s good to have him around.

“He’s looked at us, how we train and how the club’s developed and thought he could come here and maybe get back on track to where he was a couple of years ago.

“That’s testament to the club.”