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Joe Hart receives backing of England colleagues

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Joe Hart
Joe Hart is expected to start in goal for England against Montenegro on Friday.

Joe Hart has the “full backing” of the England squad, according to teammates Phil Jagielka and John Ruddy.

The Three Lions are preparing for their final World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.

Manchester City goalkeeper Hart, 26, has come in for criticism following high profile mistakes in recent club matches.

Hart was beaten on his near post twice in the 3-1 Champions League defeat at home to Bayern Munich.

On the same matchday Celtic stopper Fraser Forster put in a memorable performance between the sticks despite the Bhoys losing to Barcelona.

Hart also made mistakes in the Premier League losses at Cardiff City and Aston Villa.

National boss Roy Hodgson has stood by Hart, however, and is set to keep faith with him for the two games at Wembley.

Everton captain and Lions defender Jagielka has echoed sentiments that Hart will respond to recent criticism.

“There is no question in my mind how Joe will react and how he will perform,” said Jagielka.

“He is a fantastic goalkeeper and a fantastic lad.

“If he does make a bad decision the ball ends up in the back of the goal – he knows that is part of the territory for him.

“He knows he has the full backing of the whole squad and I am sure he is delighted to be here and he is looking forward to playing.”

Norwich goalie John Ruddy, who like Forster is understudy to Hart, added: “Joe is the England number one. Rightly so. He’s a top-drawer keeper.

“Nine times out of ten when a keeper makes a mistake, the ball goes in the back of the net.

“It’s a tough world but every keeper is mentally strong enough to deal with that.”

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