Joe Hart not guaranteed place in England team by Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson admits that Joe Hart is fighting for the number one shirt after being dropped by Manchester City recently.

Joe Hart not guaranteed place in England team by Roy Hodgson

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November 17th, 2013

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Joe Hart has not enjoyed an ideal start to the season. The 2014 World Cup takes place in six months’ time and he’s currently on the bench at Manchester City, something which cannot be a good thing when it comes to England’s prospects in Brazil.

While Hart is expected to win back his City place between the sticks from Costel Pantilimon, the spotlight is firmly on a player who saw Fraser Forster enjoy a reasonable debut against Chile on Friday night, with the former restored to the starting line-up against Germany on Tuesday.

“All I can do is give Joe the shirt and give him the chance to go out and play,” Roy Hodgson said. “Afterwards he is going to have to face whatever he faces, but Joe is an experienced player – he understands that.

“If he plays well and does well, and keeps a clean sheet and helps us to win the game, then I’m sure people are going to be saying some very good things about him.

“But if he doesn’t, and lets a couple of easy goals in, he’s going to have to accept that there’ll be criticism, because that’s the way of the world we live in. I can’t change things for players in that respect. We’ve had plenty of pats on the back recently, but we all know that, unfortunately, this game of football also gives you slaps in the face.”

Hodgson claims that he has too much respect for Hart to explain the downfalls of capitulating under the spotlight, although a meek performance against Germany will raise serious questions about the Manchester City stopper even if he has rarely faced any competition for his international place.

“Any time any player pulls on an England shirt he is in for a tough mental test and a tough test of attitude,” he said. “As an experienced player, Joe knows the way of the world. He understands that if he loses his place in the Manchester City team, and is criticised for letting a couple of goals in, then what happens will happen.

“I don’t need to take him aside and say: ‘Joe, this is what happens in football.’ I’ve got too much respect for him as a professional and as a man to do that. I always try to tell players things they haven’t talked about, but I won’t try and teach them to suck eggs.”

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