Hart relishing Foster rivalry

Joe Hart, England goalkeeperEngland goalkeeper Joe Hart has welcomed the increased competition for a starting spot that Ben Foster has brought to the squad.

The West Brom stopper, who has recently come out of international retirement, has been included in the Three Lions’ set-up for their up-coming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro after some impressive domestic displays.

Hart, who has had a shaky season with Manchester City, believes that Foster’s inclusion will be of great benefit to Roy Hodgson’s squad, and feels that increased levels of competition are good for all involved:

“It’s great to see Ben,” he told Sky Sports.

“He is a consistent performer, someone I get on well with.

“It’s good to have keepers like that around. There are three top quality keepers here plus Jack Butland and John Ruddy, and everywhere you look there is good talent.”

But, Hart is confident that he can keep his place as England’s number one goalkeeper:

“Is Foster good enough to push me? Yes, but I’ve felt that every time I’ve come away with England.

“I’m in that privileged spot at the moment. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do, I love it, I’ll keep working and training hard if there are no keepers or 1,000 keepers.

“That number one spot is one I want to keep and last summer (Euro 2012) was a real high point in my career, a dream.”

Hart has come in for some criticism this term for his level of performance for Manchester City.

The Sky Blues have struggled to keep pace with local rivals Manchester United, with a number of their top stars failing to produce the sort of form they managed in their Championship winning campaign.

Hart admitted that the criticism has been tough, but that it has not eroded his confidence:

“My season has not been brilliant,” he added. “It’s had its good times but it’s football. It’s what I love doing.

“Sometimes you take knocks, you take opinions, but you’ve got to be strong.”

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