Roy Hodgson sticks by Joe Hart

England's Joe Hart
© PA Photos
England boss Roy Hodgson insists that Joe Hart is still the national side's number one goalkeeper.

England manager Roy Hodgson has insisted that Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will remain the number one for the national team.

The shot-stopper has received criticism this season because of his poor form, with many suggesting that his place in the international side is under threat from Fraser Forster and Ben Foster.

However, despite the speculation, the 26-year-old is expected to keep his place for the World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday after Hodgson gave him his full backing.

"I don't think Joe would ever take his place for granted. I think that would be a harsh criticism of him," Hodgson told reporters. "I've been more than happy with Joe Hart as England's number one 'keeper. He is a very good keeper.

"But, if you can have two good keepers in your squad, you don't turn down the opportunity. It is more a question now of having available a keeper who is a) experienced and b) in good form and playing well for his team, a team that is doing very well in the Premier League.

"It is a good situation because you never know with a keeper what is going to happen, even during the course of a game."

Hart played in City's disappointing 2-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday.

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