Hart: We'll cope without Rooney

10 October 2011 08:05
Joe Hart is confident England have players that can "step up to the mark" during Wayne Rooney's absence at the Euro 2012 finals next summer.

Rooney will be banned for a minimum of one game after his red card against Montenegro in Podgorica, but UEFA have the power to increase the suspension if they think it appropriate.

The Manchester United forward has been in fine form during the qualifying campaign but Hart is confident England can still do well in his absence.

Hart said: "It's a massive blow for Wayne himself and a blow that one of our better players will be missing.

"It is not a blow for our chances because we've got a great team.

"As was proven against Montenegro, people are willing to step up to the mark when required.

"After Wayne got sent off, we moved on as a team and Danny Welbeck came on and did really well up front. He did a great job."

Hart played in all eight of England's qualifiers and is hoping to experience his first taste of action at a senior tournament next summer after being part of the 2010 World Cup squad.

He said: "I've really enjoyed it and am proud to be playing at the moment.

"I'm trying to keep up my club form, and stay in that team at Manchester City, and likewise trying to stay in the England team.

"I learned a lot from being at the World Cup, as much as I could from not playing.

"I've been at a few tournaments now, the World Cup was the biggest, but Under-21s championships as well and the experience stands you in good stead.

"You also benefit from being part of nights like those in Montenegro. That is why we play football. Those are the kind of atmospheres you want to get into.

"It is all very well playing in nice stadiums, with everyone clapping but in those crazy atmospheres, where it means everything to the people, it really brings out the passion in yourself."

Hart added: "We're a good team, we're a good football nation, we have to be at tournaments like the Euros.

"We will go into the tournament feeling very confident and we're hoping for a successful campaign."

Source: Team_Talk

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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