Joe Hart won’t live in fear of World Cup mistakes – but there’s still work to do, claims England hero Gordon Banks

World Cups can make reputations and they can break them – just ask former England goalkeeper Rob Green.

Green has never lived down dropping his howler against the USA at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

And another former England keeper, David Seaman, probably still has sleepless nights about being caught napping by Ronaldinho’s long-range free-kick in the quarter-finals 12 years ago.

New England number one Joe Hart had a watching brief four years ago in South Africa as the third-choice stopper in Fabio Capello’s squad.

But he has since established himself as central to Roy Hodgson’s team and won two Premier League titles with Manchester City.

“I’ve learned the important thing is to always be positive,” said Hart.

“No-one goes out there to make a mistake but incidents happen all the time, the important thing is moving on and not letting it affect you.

“People talk about that incident at the last World Cup but Rob pulled off a fantastic save shortly afterwards that kept us in the game and we qualified from the group too.”

However, some doubts remain, with England World Cup winner Gordon Banks insisting the 27-year old is far from the finished article.

And Italy fans will look forward to seeing Hart’s match-up with their star man Andrea Pirlo, recalling the way the Juventus midfielder beat him from the spot at Euro 2012, later labelling Hart as ‘too sure of himself’.

“Joe is a good keeper but there are little things in his game that you are wary about it, sometimes he doesn’t quite judge things, like crosses, properly,” said Banks, an ambassador for The Football Pools.

“At this level you can’t make mistakes because the good teams will take advantage of that without question.

“But if Joe performs like I know he can, and he doesn’t make those mistakes, he can be as good as any other keeper at the tournament in my opinion.”

However, legend Banks – recalling how England drew their first game in 1966 0-0 with Uruguay – is optimistic England will take something from their Group D opener with Italy.

‘We’ve got a chance but it will be a tight game that I feel we can get something out of, even if that’s a point,” he added.

“It’s important to do that to go into the next group game against Uruguay with a bit of confidence. A win or even just a point in your opening game can do wonders.”

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