Burnley boss Sean Dyche says Joe Hart has experience England may find valuable
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 24/09/18 1:03pm
Burnley manager Sean Dyche thinks goalkeeper Joe Hart is back in the sort of form that has won him 75 England caps.
Burnley have a strong selection of 'keepers in their squad but Hart is their current number one - and kept a clean sheet as Bournemouth were defeated 4-0 on Saturday, in front of England boss Gareth Southgate.
Despite the convincing scoreline, Dyche says Hart played a key role in the win.
"It is fine margins," said the Burnley manager.
"There was a big moment from Joe Hart - he made a big save at 2-0 up.
"He has been good and he understands what we have got here. Tom Heaton (who was on the bench on Saturday) is a fantastic keeper and an absolutely top class professional.
"He is on top of his game and ready to play, and putting pressure on that situation.
"And Popey (Nick Pope - who went to the World Cup with England) is doing well on his recovery.
"We have got a really strong group there and, as an ex-centre half, I always think a goalkeeper is a very important part of the team.
"Many years ago, (managerial great) Brian Clough always made sure he had a good keeper - people like him knew the value of a keeper."
Hart lost his England place ahead of the World Cup, having been sent out on loan from Manchester City to first Torino and then West Ham.
However, he joined Burnley on a permanent two-year deal in the summer, and Southgate's presence on Saturday has prompted speculation that an England recall could be in the offing.
Asked if he thought Hart could get back in the international fold, Dyche said: "I don't know but if that was to occur, I think he'd be ready, if needed.
"I think Gareth is mostly trying to look to the future and the new players coming through.
"But he will also be well aware it is good to have experience around that group - that helps bring some of the younger players through.
"I trust Gareth to do whatever he has to do."