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Hart: England are in good shape

08 Jun 2014 12:47:07

Hart: England are in good shape

Joe Hart and his England team-mates have arrived in Brazil feeling ready, together and upbeat about their World Cup chances.

After preparation camps in Portugal and on home soil, Miami has been the Three Lions' home for the past week in a bid to acclimatise to the hot and humid conditions expected in South America.

Their time in Florida was punctuated by ill-tempered draws with Ecuador and Honduras, although a medial ligament strain suffered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the only real negative of a successful trip.

Now, though, the real work starts after England arrived at their World Cup base in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, with their Group D opener against Italy now just days away.

"We feel good," goalkeeper Hart said, having kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw with Honduras. "We feel like we're doing the right things.

"It's great having Stevie [Gerrard] and Jordan [Henderson] and the various players screening us which is good, but I thought we looked dangerous going forward as well, which is a big positive.

"We feel like we've had a great three weeks together. We really feel like a team - a good strong English team going into a tournament with every chance to express ourselves and do well."

England managed to come through their three World Cup warm-up matches unbeaten, although the 3-0 defeat of Peru at Wembley was their only victory.

Their midweek encounter with Ecuador ended 2-2 and Saturday's 0-0 draw with Honduras was made particularly frustrating given the 43-minute first-half delay at Sun Life Stadium due to an electrical storm.

"I thought they pressed early," Hart said. "Their game plan seemed to be to come at us for the first 15.

"We got that out the way and we were just about to start slicing through them, so it was a great relief for them that the break came.

"But there's not a lot you can do. You'd rather be safe than sorry."

As well as the threat brought by the thunderstorm, England also had to deal with a number of full-blooded Honduran challenges.

Eight bookings were handed out by referee Ricardo Salazar over the course of the game, with the Central Americans lucky to only end up getting five.

Brayan Beckeles was sent off in the 65th minute after collecting two of those in quick succession, with his challenges, as well as those of several others, angering the England camp.

"They were a very physical side but we came through unscathed," Hart said, with a certain amount of relief in his voice.

"We had a good training camp and we're ready now.

"We got what we could out of it. We were always going to do that.

"We are working hard, we have worked hard every day on and off the field and we've given everything to be prepared when we turn up Brazil."


PA

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