Hart targets lead role
Joe Hart has every intention of becoming England's No.1 and is determined to make this summer's World Cup.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 02/03/10 12:04pm
Joe Hart has every intention of becoming England's No.1 and is determined to make this summer's World Cup squad.
The 23-year-old keeper has just one cap to his name at present, having been given an opportunity to impress during a friendly fixture with Trinidad & Tobago in June 2008.
He has been in and out of the fold since then, unable to cement himself in Fabio Capello's long-term plans.
A loan spell at Birmingham, having fallen out of favour at Manchester City, has helped to reinvigorate him, though, and he has put in a number of eye-catching displays throughout the 2009/10 campaign.
Those performances have seen him included in the squad to face Egypt at Wembley on Wednesday, and he is desperate for another opportunity to prove his worth as he believes he is capable of becoming a firm fixture in England's starting XI.
"I'm not England's No.1 goalkeeper, but that's the target," Hart said in the Daily Express.
"Whatever comes with it I can cope. If I couldn't, I wouldn't be talking about it.
"I'm not saying I've had people against me, but my age does go against me some times.
"Stuff you do goes against you - you've just got to look at Jamo [David James]. He's had everything thrown at him, I don't think he can have any more thrown at him.
"But it doesn't faze the guy. He's been absolutely brilliant. That's the kind of person you've got to look at."
Hart is expected to start against Egypt in midweek and is hoping the game will help him to book a seat on the plane to South Africa this summer.
"Just to be involved with England, means the world to me, but the World Cup is something different," he added.
"Being in the normal squad, seeing how these superstars do it - and they are superstars, great players - just to see how they go about things, how people prepare themselves really does help.
"Being at the World Cup and not playing, like Theo Walcott last time, that wouldn't be a disappointment for me. To be picked in that elite 23 would mean everything.
"I'll work every day to be involved in it. If I'm not picked I can look back at my season and think I gave everything, no regrets."
One man who feels Hart is more than deserving of his place among England's elite is Birmingham defender Scott Dann.
The 23-year-old believes the promising shot-stopper has been the most consistent keeper in the Premier League this season and insists he would let no-one down if selected for international duty.
"He has shown time and time again this season when he needs to be called upon he is there and he is ready," Dann told Sky Sports News.
"I don't think there has been another keeper in the league this season anywhere near as good as him.
"You know that if you do make a mistake and he's there behind you, you have confidence in him to get you out of trouble. He's been brilliant for us all season."