John Ruddy has no doubt Joe Hart is England's number one goalkeeper and believes the level of scrutiny to which the Manchester City stopper has been subjected affects England's chances of success.
Norwich goalkeeper Ruddy is one of two understudies to Hart in the squad, alongside Celtic's uncapped stopper Fraser Forster, for the crucial World Cup qualifiers with Montenegro and Poland as England bid to advance to next summer's tournament in Brazil.
If Sunday's Barclays Premier League match with Chelsea was an opportunity to audition for the number one role, for Ruddy it did not go entirely to plan as Eden Hazard's shot squirmed under his body and he was less than convincing under the high ball, albeit in no small part due to the Norfolk sunshine.
But Ruddy, whose single England appearance to date came in a friendly win over Italy, for now has no pretensions on the England goalkeeper jersey he believes Hart fully deserves.
"Joe's the England number one. Rightly so," Ruddy said.
"The way he's performed over the last few years he's deserved it and he's never let England down.
"I've been in situations before when people are questioning you. It's never nice.
"Without being too patronising, I felt sorry for him.
"He doesn't warrant that sort of attention. He's a top-drawer goalkeeper, one of the best in the world without a shadow of a doubt.
"It's the way the media is - you build people up so far and then chop their legs away when they get too high.