Hart enjoys pressure of expectation

Mon, 04 Jun 07:29:05 2012

England keeper Joe Hart admits he will thrive on the greater expectations now on his shoulders as he prepares for his first taste of senior tournament football at Euro 2012.

Hart went to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but played no part with Robert Green replaced by David James after his nightmare blunder against the United States in the opening game. But now the Manchester City player is the established number one and is relishing the challenges that will lie ahead in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

Hart, who played in two Euro finals with England Under-21s, said: "I must have improved in that time (since the World Cup). I seem to be getting better. Whether that comes from playing regularly....but I've always felt like I'm improving although I feel like I've got loads more to do."

He added: "South Africa was amazing. I absolutely loved it. I just wish we had done better as a team. We had a really good squad out there and it was unfortunate we couldn't do as well as we wanted to.

"For me, it's a totally different mindset this time to two years ago. There's an awful lot more expected of me this time with playing all the qualifying games and things like that. But I like that responsibility and hopefully I'll bring something positive to the team."

Hart has yet to experience defeat in a competitive game for England but is refusing to look to far ahead in terms of England's prospects this summer.

He said: "Winning the final is a dream of course but I don't want to think about it or foresee it. I prefer winning to visualising winning. My motto is live in the present rather than looking too far into the future."

Hart is aware of the significance of the opening game against France in Donetsk on June 11. But he believes England can take confidence from back-to-back clean sheets against Norway in Oslo and Belgium at Wembley yesterday when achieving successive 1-0 wins.

Hart said: "The game against France will be one of the biggest games of the championships. France will play some pretty football around the box so we have to be ready for that."


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