West Ham boss backs Joe Hart, says he’s become an easy target

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic believes goalkeeper Joe Hart is being unfairly singled out for criticism.

Hart kept a clean sheet and was named man of the match in his most recent appearance for England against Slovenia, but aspects of his performance were still questioned by television pundits.

Bilic told talkSPORT that the on-loan stopper doesn’t deserve the treatment he’s receiving.

“I think you don’t appreciate him,” he said. “You are asking me because you think you have a case. You are not asking why we don’t appreciate Harry Kane.

“I watched the game against Slovenia and he was man of the match.

“But you didn’t have that feeling from the studio, from the commentator, saying it was a penalty, it wasn’t a penalty.

“If it was anyone else goalkeeping in that situation nobody would say it was a penalty.

“Has he become an easy target? Yes. The guy is brilliant.

“I’m not just talking about goalkeeping now, the guy never slaughters anyone in the job, he is taking the bullets, he is there every single time whether he is at City or Torino or West Ham.

“He is a great professional and very interested in the squad. He is a top pro.”

Pep Guardiola’s decision to ditch Hart as Manchester City’s number one certainly affected his confidence, but there have been signs in recent weeks that he is getting back to his best.

He has kept clean sheets in three of West Ham’s last four league games and looked solid against Slovenia.

With the likes of Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford pushing for a starting role with England, Hart needs to maintain his performance levels, but he certainly appears to have a major ally in Bilic.

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