England boss sticks by Hart

England boss Roy Hodgson insists Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart remains number one for the national team.

Last Updated: 17/03/13 at 09:17 Post Comment

Joe Hart: First choice for England

Joe Hart: First choice for England

Hart has been in patchy form this season and his place in under threat from Celtic shot-stopper Fraser Forster and the recalled West Brom keeper Ben Foster.

But Hart is certain to keep his place for Friday's World Cup qualifier in San Marino as England look to take a step closer to next year's showpiece in Rio.

Hodgson said: "I don't think Joe would ever take his place for granted. I think that would be a harsh criticism of him.

"I've been more than happy with Joe Hart as England's number one 'keeper. He is a very good 'keeper.

"But, if you can have two good 'keepers in your squad, you don't turn down the opportunity.

"It is more a question now of having available a 'keeper who is a) experienced and b) in good form and playing well for his team, a team that is doing very well in the Premier League.

"It is a good situation because you never know with a 'keeper what is going to happen, even during the course of a game."

Number one

Hodgson added: "At the moment, Joe Hart is the number one as far as I'm concerned.

"I'm not suggesting when they come to training on Monday it is going to be a fight to see who can get the gloves.

"Joe Hart has got hold of the shirt. It will be up to Ben, I suppose, to try and get the shirt from him. But it is nice to have Ben there making that attempt."

Hodgson is reluctant to become involved as to whether City manager Roberto Mancini's recent criticism have had a negative impact on Hart.

He said: "You will have to ask Joe. He has not let me down playing for England. He is a good 'keeper.

"Not many people would contest he is the number one 'keeper in the country and I'm happy to have him.

"You are referring to a situation at club level which is out of my domain. That is between him and his manager.

"How it's affecting him, he doesn't seem to be playing that badly and when I've seen him, he's done well."

Gerrard

Hodgson has praised the impact made by midfielder Steven Gerrard during his first year as official England captain.

He also believes the Liverpool player is coping with a demanding schedule which includes playing every single minute of Liverpool's Premier League matches this season.

Hodgson said: "Steven does a fantastic job as captain, he takes it very seriously. He talks a lot to the other players. I'm delighted to have him with us.

"Liverpool have been very supportive of the fact he plays these matches (with England) despite not missing many games for them.

"That's what you hope for at international level, that you will get the chance to play the best players who are playing on a regular basis for their clubs.

"They will be playing more games because they are the best players.

"But Steven doesn't seem to be overburdened at all at the moment so long may that continue."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is all good fun, but anyone who thinks United are 4th best in England for anything more than a blip is properly f***ing mental. And Domenech is properly f***ing mental.

megabrow (cufc)
Schneiderlin must join United - Domenech

I

f the answer is Matt Phillips, the question should never be Who is one of your major transfer targets?

jelasfirsttouch
The Twosome Gossip

I

s this Chris Smalling playing the 'Race' card?

hump3.
Smalling wants United race

Footer 365

Roberto Firmino eyeing trophy success at Liverpool after saying bye to Hoffenheim

Liverpool's £29m summer signing Roberto Firmino hopes to celebrate "a lot of success" at Anfield and 'can't wait test himself in the Premier League'.

Manchester United 'agree Matteo Darmian fee with Torino'

Manchester United have agreed a fee with Torino for Italy right-back Matteo Darmian, according to Sky Italia sources.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba not joining Barcelona this year

Barcelona have insisted they are "not planning" a move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba this calendar year.

Mail Box

Doesn't Delph To Arsenal Make More Sense?

We have reaction to our Top Ten regarding Philipp Lahm and Dave Mackay, why we all love Harry Kane, Fabian Delph to Arsenal and what United can get away with...

Why Is Kane More Likeable Than Carrick?

A Mailbox which covers topics including Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Robin van Persie, handballs, transfer reporting and Rodgers bingo. It's not us being mean...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company