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Hierro reappointed at RFEF

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 By PA Sport

Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg sympathises with Joe Hart

Malta's England-born goalkeeper Andrew Hogg says he sympathises with Joe Hart following his sudden exit from Manchester City.

Hogg, 31, was born and lived in Surrey until he was five, when his half-English father relocated the family to the Mediterranean island.

Outside of international breaks he plies his trade with local side Hibernians and is preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime "homecoming" at Wembley on Saturday, when he can expect to be much busier than his opposite number.

But Hogg has watched with interest as Hart was jettisoned by Pep Guardiola over a perceived flaw in his distribution, eventually heading to Torino on loan.

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"I've followed Joe's situation quite a lot and, yes, I feel sorry for him," Hogg told Press Association Sport.

"Goalkeeping is changing, for sure, I've seen the same thing playing in Greece and even in Malta. Even though the quality is not the same they are all looking for goalkeepers who can pass.

"I understand the reasoning of the Manchester City coach, it makes sense, but at the end of the day it happens and you have to deal with whatever football or life throws at you.

"Football is a game of confidence and you will go in and out of form, but the best fight back and stay at the top. Joe got himself to Torino and Serie A is a great league."

Joe Hat landed at Torino on loan after losing his spot at Man City.

Asked if he might look to show Hart up with some neat footwork of his own on Saturday, Hogg said: "With my club I play more of that game, not so much the national side."

Hogg has around 15 family and friends coming to see him line up against the country of his birth, though he stresses all have been given tickets in the away end and have been instructed to cheer on along the same lines.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but you can't lose your mind about the glitziness of the stadium or the situation," he added.

"You focus on your job and be a professional. We've played Italy four times in recent qualifying and they never took the mick out of the us.

"We want to leave with our heads held high, to gain respect from everybody and make the most of our chance to do the Maltese people proud."

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