Hodgson stands by Hart

28 August 2013 11:02

England boss Roy Hodgson is not about to abandon Joe Hart on the back of a couple of below-par goalkeeping displays.

For virtually the first time since he was installed as first choice keeper following the 2010 World Cup, major questions are being asked of Hart.

The Manchester City man was criticised for his performance in England's win over Scotland earlier this month and was blamed for two of Cardiff's goals in their shock 3-2 win over Manuel Pellegrini's men on Sunday.

Yet Hodgson remains solidly behind Hart.

"I would defend him," he said.

"It would take more than a couple of games before we lost faith in a guy who has been number one over a long period.

"In top teams like Manchester City, goalkeepers don't have a lot to do. Every time they make a mistake it's highlighted.

"I have every faith in Joe Hart. When I took the job I thought I had a top class goalkeeper and 16 months later feel I still have a top class goalkeeper."

Everton's Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend of Tottenham have been called up for the first time, whilst Liverpool's Raheem Sterling has been handed a recall after making his England bow in Sweden last November.

Rickie Lambert has also kept his place after scoring with his first touch against the Scots to complete a remarkable rise from lower league journeyman to international star.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0