Roy Hodgson has said Joe Hart is a goalkeeper who is “entitled to feel confident” in an England shirt despite his club problems, as the Three Lions manager also confirmed his team to face Germany at Wembley on Tuesday.
Hodgson will make nine changes from the starting XI that lost 2-0 to Chile on Friday, and one of those is between the posts, with the Manchester City keeper set to come in for Fraser Forster.
And the England boss feels that the recent dropping of Hart by City, after a string of mistakes, will not have a negative effect on the player.
“I’m sure he’ll respond very well. It’s not my business his club football career, and he’s a proud man,” Hodgson said. “He’s very pleased to be playing for England and he’s done well for us.
“We’ve had no cause to doubt him during these very, very important World Cup qualifying games we’ve had. So if you take 14 very important games, we’re unbeaten and he’s only let in seven or eight goals in those 14, and I think he’s entitled to feel confident to pull on the England jersey.”
Hodgson also stated that Daniel Sturridge is fit, as he confirmed that those players who wore bibs in Monday’s open training session were indeed his preferred XI for the Germany clash.
Gerrard will start as captain in his 108th match for England, which equals Bobby Moore’s tally. And the Liverpool man had words of praise -- as well as motivation -- for one of his club teammates.
Gerrard stated he is a “huge fan” of Sturridge, but that it is up to the striker to emulate Wayne Rooney and prove himself as a star performer.
“I was surprised Chelsea let him go,” he said. “I’d watched him at Manchester City and Chelsea and really liked what I’d seen but now I’ve worked with him on a daily basis at close quarters, I’m a huge fan.
“I think the stage is set for him to go on and prove himself, that he’s a top, top forward. You talk about the partnership with Wayne, the difference is Wayne’s done it, Danny's got to go and do it now.”
England team to face Germany: Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Cole, Andros Townsend, Steven Gerrard, Tom Cleverley, Adam Lallana, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge.