West Ham manager Slaven Bilic backed Joe Hart, saying the goalkeeper was unfairly criticised and had become an easy target.
Hart, 30, has been questioned for his performances for England and at club level, particularly since leaving Manchester City for a loan spell at Torino last season.
The shot-stopper produced a fine display in World Cup qualifying earlier this month, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Slovenia that secured England’s place in Russia.
Bilic defended his goalkeeper and believes Hart deserves more credit than he is often given.
“I think you don’t appreciate him. I watched the game against Slovenia. He was man of the match,” the Croatian said.
“But you didn’t have that feeling from the studio, from the commentator, saying it was a penalty [to Slovenia] – it wasn’t a penalty. If it was anyone else goalkeeping in that situation, nobody would say it was a penalty. I have that feeling at this moment.
“Has he become an easy target? Yes. The guy is brilliant. I’m not just talking about goalkeeping now. The guy never slaughters anyone in the job.
“He is taking the bullets, he is there every single time, whether he is at City or Torino or West Ham. He is a great professional and a top pro.”
Bilic’s West Ham, who are 15th in the Premier League, visit Burnley on Saturday.
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