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Hodgson: England omission would dent Hart's confidence

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Hodgson: Struggling Hart under a microscope
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Hodgson: Struggling Hart under a microscope
England boss Roy Hodgson has again backed Joe Hart and insisted that dropping the under-fire goalkeeper would dent his confidence.

The shot stopper was left out of the Manchester City starting lineup for the club's 7-0 victory over Norwich City last weekend after a string of errors, and he failed to force his way back into the XI for the team's 5-2 Champions League win against CSKA Moscow in midweek.

But Hodgson has assured Hart of at least one start in the forthcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany, and feels that dropping him for his country would be undeserved.

"If I show a lack of faith in Joe it would be undeserving after what he has done for England and it would definitely affect his confidence negatively," the England coach told reporters. "I would be a lot more concerned if, in the spring of next year as we are building up to the selection (for the 2014 FIFA World Cup), he was a constant reserve, never getting a game of football.

"That would bother me, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it."

Hodgson is certain that Hart's City omission is not a permanent measure.

"I firmly believe Joe is such a good goalkeeper that he will get back into the Manchester City team sooner or later," he added. "Although I haven't spoken to Manuel (Pellegrini, City coach) yet, I would think he would expect me to play Joe because I'm sure that he has not lost faith in him as a goalkeeper. Sometimes as a club manager you get put under pressure to make a decision, but I'm not convinced in my own mind that he has written off Joe Hart in any way.

"Maybe he thought that withdrawing him from the firing line might be a good thing. I unfortunately can't withdraw him from the firing line. He'll play for England. He'll be in the  firing line there, as he was in the last two games we played against Montenegro and Poland."

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