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."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

am jealous but i do wonder why he's never done anything for barca and why they seemingly don't give two hoots that he's leaving. they clearly rate suarez more than him, that much is inarguable

bobsy
Sanchez Is A Game-Changer For Arsenal...

L

uis Suarez: on his way to Barcelona. Liverpool : on their way to the Conference.

wotyomamased
Liverpool agree sale of Suarez

D

aryl Janmaat, a cheaper alternative to Micah Richards? World Cup semifinalist versus Man City's backup, England's... what, fifth choice right back? That really hammers home the English premium.

harry hotspur
The Blank Gossip

Footer 365

World Cup: Luiz Felipe Scolari dismissed as Brazil coach according to local media

The CBF has decided not to renew the contract of national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, according to media reports.

World Cup: Joachim Loew believes Germany can build a footballing dynasty

Joachim Loew believes Germany's World Cup final victory is a tribute to the way their domestic game is run.

World Cup final: Mario Gotze scores in extra-time as Germany beat Argentina 1-0

Germany won the World Cup final for a fourth time after Mario Gotze's extra-time volley sealed a 1-0 win over Argentina.

Mail Box

Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

Stop Your Sobbing And Man Up...

Oh and honey, put the kettle on. We have more World Cup mails but it's mostly an orgasmic explosion at the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Could this be Arsenal's year?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property