• Costel Pantilimon set to start at Wembley on Sunday
• Hart says he took previous demotion 'on the chin'
Joe Hart is resigned to missing Sunday's Capital One Cup final, with Costel Pantilimon set to be chosen for the Wembley showpiece with Sunderland.
Manchester City's players were given a clear hint during Friday's training session regarding who will be in Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI. The squad will train on Saturday morning before travelling to London in the afternoon and the manager could still have a change of mind. However, if Hart does not start, it would be another blow following the loss of his place to Pantilimon during the autumn.
The 26-year-old has spoken for the first time regarding that decision by Pellegrini and admitted he had to take it on the chin. "You have to be able to accept when you are playing or not," he told the BBC's Football Focus. "When managers have got decisions to make, whether it benefits me or not, I have to be man enough to take it. I work hard every day to win and I understand it doesn't always go my way and you have to move forward."
Pantilimon, who was dropped by Roberto Mancini for last year's FA Cup final defeat by Wigan Athletic after playing in all the previous rounds, would not be drawn on whether he will appear against Sunderland. "Only the manager can say this. I'm like all the players, we are waiting for this," he said. "We don't know what the team is going to be. The manager decides on the day of the game the first XI."
City are clear favourites against Sunderland but Samir Nasri has twice lost cup finals at Wembley to unfancied teams who went on to be relegated, as Gus Poyet's third-bottom side could also be. Nasri was in the Arsenal team defeated by Birmingham City after a late Obafemi Martins goal in the 2011 League Cup final. The Frenchman was also in the City XI beaten by Wigan, again to a late goal, from Ben Watson.
Asked which was the more disappointing reverse, Nasri said: "I cannot choose one of them over the other. The only thing is I lost two finals against teams who went down. It hurts because you play to win trophies and it was a good opportunity to win this trophy. "
Arsenal and City had been favourites ahead of the respective final losses. "Yes, that is really difficult," said Nasri. "You go back home and play the game again in your head and it's difficult."
Wigan's victory came against the backdrop of uncertainty over the future of Mancini but Nasri denied this was a factor. "It is not nice to say it is about the manager," he said. "I just think we didn't play our football. You have some days when you cannot perform well and that's what happened.
"I am not in the head of every player but I cannot say it is the manager's fault. He made his choices, you have to respect them. On the pitch you have to give everything and, to be honest, Wigan were really difficult to play. They play 3-5-2, sometimes 5-3-2 so it was really difficult to play them and they had good players as well."
Pellegrini should be able to choose Sergio Agüero, after his recovery from a hamstring injury. The striker, who has scored 26 goals in 25 games this season, has not featured since 29 January but has had a full week of training since rejoining the squad on Tuesday.
In Agüero's absence Álvaro Negredo has hit the first lean spell of his debut season. The Spaniard has 23 goals for City but has not scored since 21 January. While Negredo was suffering from a shoulder injury for part of this sequence, he believes Agüero's return will help him rediscover his scoring touch.
"We've done well together earlier in the season, we got a lot of goals so maybe that can continue," he said. "All the forwards we have here are good players. I like playing alongside any of them. But Agüero is one of the top strikers around and it will be fantastic to have him back."
Negredo said of his drought: "For the first few games I was struggling with my shoulder. It was an influence for a couple of weeks after it happened but I'm perfectly fine now. As strikers we go through cycles when sometimes the goals stop coming but I am not worried. They will come back. It's been a few weeks now so I hope so."