In anticipation of England's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley, England shot stopper John Ruddy has backed current number one keeper Joe Hart.

Hart has come in for criticism following several errors this season, including in Manchester City's crushing 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Speaking on the BBC, Ruddy said; "Joe's the England number one. Rightly so. He doesn't warrant that sort of attention. He's a top-drawer keeper."

Ruddy has appeared only once for the national side, in a 2-1 friendly victory over Italy in August 2012. He and Celtic keeper Fraser Forster are back-up options going into the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and are also likely to feature in future squads ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, should England qualify.

"I've been in situations before when people are questioning you. It's never nice." added Ruddy.

"Without being too patronising, I felt sorry for him. It's the way the media is. You build people up so far and then chop their legs away when they get too high.

"Unfortunately that's the way the English media goes. Until that stops we might struggle to go anywhere in competitions."

Ruddy's backing comes in addition to England manager Roy Hodgson saying in a news conference only days after his high-profile mistakes that; "Joe Hart is my number one. He has never let me down."

Whilst Hart has also made errors in an England shirt, they have tended to come in the less important friendly games, such as when a shot from James Morrison in the 3-2 win against Scotland went straight through the City shot stopper.

However, outfield players make mistakes all the time and quite often get away with them.

By contrast, as Ruddy points out, "nine times out of 10 when a keeper makes a mistake, the ball goes in the back of the net."

There will be hope from everyone associated with England that Hart can once again show the kind of form that won him the Barclays Premier League Golden Glove three seasons in a row.

If that is not possible, England face the disastrous prospect of failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

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