Joe Hart says he respected Pep Guardiola’s honesty when he dropped him from the Manchester City team, but feels criticism of his playing style overlooks “what actually counts”.
The England international had been first choice at City until Guardiola took charge and sent him on loan to Torino and West Ham, then brought in Claudio Bravo and Ederson because of their superior distribution.
Hart, 31, joined Burnley in the close season and is enjoying first-team football in the Premier League again and says he holds no bad feelings towards the coach, even if he does not respect his opinion on his ability.
“I’m cool with Pep, I think he’s a top manager,” he 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.”
The 31-year-old does not pay attention to criticism of his playing style and technical ability, even though it has been a big talking point surrounding him over the last two years.
“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,” he 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.”
Hart hasn’t featured for England since November 2017, having missed out on a place at the World Cup, but he would jump at the chance to return to Gareth Southgate’s team.
“If I was asked to play for England tomorrow I’d be ready,” he said. “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. The summer was amazing, I was absolutely gutted and other words that I wasn’t in the World Cup squad, but you’ve got to make the best. I had a fantastic summer, I enjoyed it, I bounced into this pre-season, and I’m ready to go.”