Sport

No need to panic about Joe Hart: Roy Hodgson ‘not bothered’ about poor night for Manchester City goalkeeper

By Dean Wilkins

Roy Hodgson has no concerns about the dreadful night for Manchester City’s Joe Hart had between the sticks against Sweden yesterday.

Two silly errors and two major ones for the Blues and Three Lions No. 1 ended Hodgson’s hopes of upsetting Sweden in their national stadium opening party.

Steven Caulker cancelled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s early lead before Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck put England ahead before the break.

But Hart’s poor position for a free-kick and misjudged decision to try and header outside his area allowed Ibrahimovic to storm to four goals and give Sweden a 4-2 victory – his last was an outstanding athletic overheard kick from 30 yards out.

“We are not bothered about Joe Hart,” said Hodgson. “He is a very good goalkeeper and we will have a lot of success with him in the goal even if it wasn’t maybe one of his best days, this happens in football.”

The loss ends Hodgson’s 12-game unbeaten run with England in open play – they did lose on penalties to Italy at Euro 2012 – but the friendly fixture was a platform for experimentation.

Raheem Sterling earned his first England cap aged 17 as his club teammate and captain Steven Gerrard was given his 100th, and the youngster continued his impressive form on the rightflank.

“Raheem has to be very happy,” said Hodgson. “He had a difficult start. The first challenge on him was a very fierce one. It put him on the ground and winded him.

“But he came through that and got better and better. Towards the end he tired a little as one would expect but I have to be satisfied with what he did.

“He is not even 18, so it bodes well.

“He is a young man with a future. He is a young man with talent. Now he has to hone that talent in the Premier League with Liverpool.”

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