Jagielka backing Joe to bounce back

09 October 2013 09:01

Joe Hart has been the butt of jokes on the ping-pong table at St George's Park this week, but Phil Jagielka has no doubt the goalkeeper will bounce back from his dip in form to help carry England to Brazil.

For the first time in three years, Hart's position as England's number one has come in to question after a series of sub-par performances for club and country.

But, to Hart's credit, he has not ducked the issue since joining up with the England squad in Burton.

"Joe has been his bubbly self," the Everton defender said. "Joe wouldn't want to tiptoe around the issue, he loves the banter more than anyone.

"You just throw the odd comment in. You're losing 10-9 to him at table tennis and I'm waiting for the next point, and you just say 'Bayern Munich' or something.

"That's just the kind of thing you do.

"He gave me some back because City beat us 3-1 at the weekend so I didn't have a leg to stand on.

"Joe's a great guy and a fantastic goalkeeper and if he can take it like he has done all the power to him."

Hart will have to be at his best on Friday when England host Montenegro and then again four days later for the visit of Poland.

As it stands, the only way Hart and his team-mates are guaranteed to be on their way to Brazil next summer is if they win both games at Wembley.

Source: PA