Roy Hodgson defends Joe Hart following Sweden defeat

Hodgson defends Hart following Sweden defeat
© PA Photos
England manager Roy Hodgson leaps to the support of Joe Hart following England's friendly defeat in Sweden.

England manager Roy Hodgson has refused to blame goalkeeper Joe Hart for his side's 4-2 friendly defeat to Sweden.

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit all four goals to sink the Three Lions, but Hodgson was quick to defend the Manchester City shot-stopper.

He told ITV: "You can always blame goalkeepers for those things, but it was a bit disappointing to concede a goal of course, when a shot's coming in from that distance.

"I'll have to see it again on the video replay; I certainly wouldn't be prepared to start casting aspersions on the goalkeeper or [apportioning] blame. That doesn't matter.

"All goals are mistakes somewhere along the line; the thing is what you do during the course of the 94 minutes, and I thought during the 94 minutes today we did some very good things."

Hodgson went on to praise Ibrahimovic's fourth goal, describing it as "extraordinary", and insisted that there were "a lot of positives" to take from England's performance.

He added: "There's no doubt the fourth goal was something really extraordinary. Of course that put the tin lid on the game, but it was the second and third goals that cost us a victory here.

"But I thought for long periods of the game, certainly 70 minutes of the game, I thought we were actually playing very well and deserved to be leading.

"I thought we were very dangerous but of course I was quite anxious to look at a few players in this game, and maybe the changes at the end and the second goal gave them more initiative, and we ended up losing."

Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker scored England's consolation goals.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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