• England

Hart is still my No. 1 - Hodgson

ESPN staff
October 3, 2013
Joe Hart had a night to forget against Bayern Munich © PA Photos

England manager Roy Hodgson has given his full backing to Joe Hart despite the goalkeeper making high-profile errors in recent weeks.

Hart has been named in Hodgson's World Cup squad to face Montenegro and Poland at Wembley, and there were suggestions the manager could decide to drop the City shot-stopper after he was at fault for two of Bayern Munich's three goals in the Champions League defeat at The Etihad.

However, Hodgson has offered his support to the struggling goalkeeper.

"I think goalkeepers are always going to be in that situation, forwards are to a similar extent, when they have not scored for a while. A goalkeeper who lets a goal in that perhaps should have been saved are in the firing line when it comes to criticism," he said.

"It's easy to criticise them for what is seen as a mistake rather than maybe a midfield player whose poor play created the chance for the opposition.

"I am sure Joe is not happy to have let in goals he feels he could have saved. I have every confidence and faith in him he will put this behind him. It will take a lot more than a bad game for any player before I start suggesting he should be replaced."

And Hodgson insists despite Celtic's Fraser Forster impressing in recent months, Hart is still going to be his first-choice.

"We are pleased with him [Fraser Forster], he has done very well and I think he has a great future, certainly it would be a mistake to suggest at this moment in time he should be given the responsibility," he said.

"I have no doubt Joe will come through this and put one bad game behind him. I am not blind to the situation, I do realise it is not a good moment for Joe. He is a proud man and a very good goalkeeper and I am sure when he is criticised he is unhappy.

"I still believe in Joe Hart, I believe he is the right man for the job and I don't believe he will let England down."

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