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Hart confident England strikers will fire

Joe Hart is backing England’s toothless attack to come good in Euro 2016’s round of 16.

Roy Hodgson’s men drew a blank in their 0-0 draw with Slovakia in Saint-Etienne on Monday; Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy failing to build on their goals in the 2-1 win over Wales, while Harry Kane, introduced as a substitute in the second half, endured another fruitless outing in France.

Vardy in particular wasted England’s best chance of the game in the 17th minute, shooting straight at goalkeeper Matus Kozacik after racing on to a forward pass and getting in behind the opposition defence.

Hodgson faced criticism after the game for making six changes from the Wales win, as a point saw Chris Coleman’s men top Group B.

Questioned after the game on the quality of the forwards’ finishing in training, goalkeeper Hart said: “It’s been very good. We back our players, we’ve got some fantastic strikers.”

The Manchester City shot-stopper added: “We’ve come up against some really resilient defending and some good goalkeeping.

“But I think everyone’s well aware that there’s going to be a game when we do start getting what we deserve and that’s going to be a good day for us … we’re very, very confident of what we’ve got in the group.

“We’re united, we’re going to stick together and we’re going to look to get as far as we can.”

England will now face one of Hungary, Iceland, Portugal or Austria in Nice on Monday but right-back Nathaniel Clyne, who came in for the rested Kyle Walker at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, is not worried about the next opponents.

“It doesn’t really matter who we get because to win the tournament – which is what we’re trying to do – we have to play against the big teams and to beat the big teams,” he said.

“I’m sure we will be ready, hopefully go from there and get to the next round.”

Tue 21 Jun, 2016
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