Hodgson: Struggling Hart under a microscope

The Three Lions boss says he will give the Manchester City shot-stopper a chance against Germany, acknowledging the player will face heavy criticism if he makes any errors.
England manager Roy Hodgson has warned Joe Hart risks losing his place in the national side if he makes mistakes against Germany on Tuesday.

The Manchester City man is set to start for the Three Lions at Wembley after sitting out Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Chile with Fraser Forster preferred. While Hodgson has revealed Hart will be restored to the starting lineup for Tuesday’s clash, he says the 26-year-old must make the most of his opportunity.

"All I can do is give Joe the shirt and give him the chance to go out and play," Hodgson told reporters. "Afterwards he is going to have to face whatever he faces, but Joe is an experienced player – he understands that. If he plays well and does well, and keeps a clean sheet and helps us to win the game, then I'm sure people are going to be saying some very good things about him.

“But if he doesn't, and lets a couple of easy goals in, he's going to have to accept that there will be criticism, because that's the way of the world we live in. I can't change things for players in that respect. We've had plenty of pats on the back recently, but we all know that, unfortunately, this game of football also gives you slaps in the face."

Hodgson also said Hart was well aware of his current predicament and feels he does not need to explain how important a good performance is.

"Any time any player pulls on an England shirt he is in for a tough mental test and a tough test of attitude," he said. "As an experienced player, Joe knows the way of the world. He understands that if he loses his place in the Manchester City team, and is criticized for letting a couple of goals in, then what happens will happen.

"I don't need to take him aside and say: 'Joe, this is what happens in football.' I've got too much respect for him as a professional and as a man to do that. I always try to tell players things they haven't talked about, but I won't try and teach them to suck eggs."