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Sep 6, 2010

Capello backing goalkeeper Hart to be the best

England coach Fabio Capello says that Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart can continue his rise to become one of the best in the world if he can maintain his focus.

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Hart, 23, has claimed the No. 1 jersey for both club and country this season and Capello's faith in the player was rewarded on Friday night with a starring display in the 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

Capello has worked with two of the best keepers around - Italy's Gianluigi Buffon and Spain's Iker Casillas - and now says that Hart can go on to put himself among the best in the business.

"I worked with Casillas and Buffon and Joe Hart is good, a really good keeper," said Capello. "Roberto Mancini has chosen him for Manchester City and I have chosen him for the England team. He improved a lot last year when he played at Birmingham. That was really important.

"Both the two keepers we had who stayed with us (Hart and Ben Foster) are in really good form. Hart is good. He is young. He can improve. He has to work but he has the personality a keeper needs.

"Always I remember when he was with the Under-21s he always had the same confident personality, it was always the same. But now, with the focus he has, that personality is really, really up."

Capello chose to take Hart to the 2010 World Cup, but he did not get a game despite doubts over the form of Robert Green and David James. Now the Italian says that he is a very different player to the one he first saw.

"I remember when I selected him two years ago he was not the same player. He did not have the same focus on the games or the training,'' Capello said. ''He probably started to play in the first team too early and started to think 'I am the best; I am here'.

"You have to understand what happens in the mind of the young player. Sometimes this happens. But after two years he has come back. The most important thing is the quality of the player. After that comes back he can play.

"He has improved a lot because of the one season he played in the Premier League last year. It was very important. He played every game, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, every game. It was really important.''

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