National team manager reminds his shot stopper that he is droppable after yet another gaff.
England head coach Roy Hodgson has warned goalkeeper Joe Hart that there are plenty of contenders to replace him as the Three Lions No 1 if he carries on making the type of error that gifted Scotland their opening goal at Wembley on Wednesday night, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The Manchester City shot stopper has come in for some criticism in the aftermath of England’s 3-2 win over their arch rivals in their friendly clash earlier this week, with the 26-year-old having allowed James Morrison’s speculative long-range shot to somehow beat him to hand the visitors’ the lead at the home of football.
And with Hodgson’s side set to embark on four crucial World Cup qualifiers starting next month that will decide whether or not they will be competing at next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, the manager knows all too well that such mistakes cannot happen again when the real stuff gets under way in September.
However, Hodgson also says that he is not someone who likes to constantly chop and change his starting lineups simply on the basis of individual errors by his players, although he did take the time to issue a gentle reminder to Hart that there are also a number of promising keepers waiting in the wings to take his place if necessary.
“I would contest [the claim that] he doesn’t have competition,” said Hodgson.
“Ben Foster is a good goalkeeper and now we have the experienced John Ruddy back as well.
“Jack Butland had nothing to do [in the Under-21s’ 6-0 defeat of Scotland at Bramall Lane] but he has talent as well. We might not have 20 but we have a good four or five.
“I wouldn’t leave him [Hart] out of the next game because he made that mistake. Like everyone else, the competition for places is getting stronger.
“If I go back a year or six, seven months even, we are getting a little bit stronger. Joe’s place is as much open to competition as anyone else’s. I can’t give guarantees.
“I hope I’m not going to be the type of guy who chops and changes at every mistake. I’ll be watching him closely in the coming games and hopefully he’ll produce a few wonder games for City.’’