Hodgson: Hart still England's No. 1

The Three Lions coach is standing by the struggling shot-stopper, revealing that he intends to start the 26-year-old against Chile or Germany.
England boss Roy Hodgson insists that Joe Hart remains his No. 1 and is confident that the underperforming goalkeeper will regain his place at Manchester City.

The 26-year-old shot-stopper has found himself on the bench for his club's last two matches following high-profile errors against Chelsea, Aston Villa and Cardiff City this season, but the Three Lions boss is sure that he will bounce back to oust Costel Pantilimon.

On Thursday, Hart was named in England's squad for friendlies against Chile and Germany and Hodgson revealed that he will start one of the two matches, with Fraser Forster or John Ruddy set to be given a chance in the other friendly.

"I firmly believe Joe is such a good goalkeeper that he will get back in the Manchester City team sooner or later," the England boss told reporters. "He will start one of the games but not both. I feel I am duty-bound to look at one of the other two goalkeepers. He's our No. 1 goalkeeper. I would guess he is more likely to play Germany than Chile but don't wish to be held to that."

Hodgson also scotched suggestions that Celtic star Forster's chances of international action were being hindered by the former Norwich City man playing in Scotland.

"Fraser hasn't been held back by playing in the SPL," the 66-year-old remarked. "He has been held back by Joe Hart."