England manager Fabio Capello has urged Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart to concentrate harder in games and to cut out recent mistakes which has cost the club valuable points this season.
Hart started the season well after cementing his place for both club and country with a widespread display of commanding performances.
However the 23-year-old has been subject to recent criticism due to a run of poor form, but the England manager is making sure that his number one picks himself up – sooner rather than later.
“He has made mistakes but, also, he is young,” said Capello to the Guardian.
“I think it is important for him to understand that he has to be focused in every moment of the game. It is difficult to play for a team that has to win and has spent a lot of money to win.
“You have to understand that, when you play against another team from the middle of the table or the bottom of the table, these teams will play 110 per cent to beat you.”
Hart was culpable for Andy King’s equaliser for Leicester City in the FA Cup and could have arguably done better when parrying Ashley Young’s shot to Darrent Bent, who netted the winner in a 1-0 victory against the Manchester outfit.
City boss Roberto Mancini has previously held talks with Hart about his form, and is pushing the ‘keeper towards more consistent performances both on and off the pitch.
“Every player has difficult moments in their career and what he has to do is be strong at this time because when everything is going OK, it is easy for him,” said Mancini, according to SkySports.
“For a young goalkeeper to receive this criticism is a challenge and he must be strong in the face of it.
“He is always very assured, but it is important to have concentration always. He is improving but I think that he has a chance to improve more because he is young and this is his second year in the first team.
“He can become one of the best goalkeepers in England and the world, but for this to happen he has to want to work and want to improve.”
Capello remained adamant that City would have to cut out the mistakes and keep focused if they truthfully had a chance of winning the Premier League ahead of tops clubs such as Man Utd or Arsenal.
“You have to play every time at the top because you have to be focused in every game. If you play with Manchester United, you can’t make mistakes. If you play with Arsenal, you can’t make mistakes. You have to win every game if you are going to arrive at the top of the table,” stated the 64-year-old Italian.
Capello remains hopeful that Hart takes to his advice and steadies himself for England’s friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen on 8 February, but will orientate himself to selecting players who have been overlooked on previous occasions.
Birmingham City’s Ben Foster failed to impress the England boss back in December, with a below-par performance in their 2-1 defeat to France at Wembley.
Hart should be reinstated as number one, but in the form he’s in at the moment – who knows?
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