Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy has come to the defence of under pressure England first choice goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Ruddy believes it's not fair to constantly question Hart’s form as it may have a negative impact on the overall performance of the England national team.

The Manchester City shot stopper has been under scrutiny recently, notably after his unimpressive performance in their 3-1 Champions League defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich.

“Joe is the England Number one. Rightly so,” Ruddy told The Daily Mail.

“The way he’s performed over the last few years he’s deserved it and he’s never let England down. I’ve been in situations before when people are questioning. It’s never nice without being too patronising. I felt sorry for him

"He doesn’t warrant that sort of attention. He is top drawer, one of the best in the world without a shadow of doubt. It’s the way the media 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.”

He went further to say that Joe Hart, like any quality goalkeeper, is capable of bouncing back from the errors he’s made since he has the right mentality.

“Nine out of 10 times a keeper makes a mistake, the ball goes in the back of the net," Ruddy continued.

"It’s a tough world but every keeper is mentally strong enough to deal with that. We are a strange bunch, but you have to be. The self-confidence and self-belief that you have as an individual has to be right up there.”

So far, Ruddy has only made one appearance for England, that was back in a friendly match when they played against Italy. But he insists England is not short of goalkeepers and the pressure he and other keepers put on Hart makes the position very competitive for boss Roy Hodgson.

England are currently preparing for their upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers matches against Montenegro and Poland.    

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England Football
Joe Hart
John Ruddy