Hodgson: Hart vital to England

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England boss Roy Hodgson concedes that Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will be vital to his country's Euro 2012 hopes.

The new Three Lions manager is expecting the City shot-stopper to play a crucial role this summer, and Hart has cemented his position as England number one.

At the 2010 World Cup, Hart sat behind David James and Robert Green as England crashed out in the second round, but the City keeper has since claimed the number one jersey.

And Hodgson believes his goalkeeper will need to be in top form if England are to progress. The England boss is quoted on saying: "I agree he will be vital. His form for Manchester City has been superb."

Hart dislodged Shay Given at City before overtaking Robert Green in the battle for the England jersey. The West Ham keeper has since recovered from his World Cup nightmare and will play second fiddle behind Hart at Euro 2012.

Other options for Hodgson included Ben Foster, Paul Robinson and David James, while Norwich keeper John Ruddy was ruled out through injury. But, barring injury or loss of form, Hart looks to have secured his place in the England team for years to come.

"When he has played for England he has done very well and if we are to do well there is no doubt we will need Joe Hart in top form," said Hodgson.

England face France in their first Euro 2012 group game on Monday, before they play Sweden and Ukraine. With the squad hit by several high-profile injuries in defence, Hart will need to replicate his City form if his country are to progress beyond the group stages.

Joe Hart
Manchester City
Premier League
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