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Hart eager for Euro challenge

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 Jun 2012

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Joe Hart is looking forward to his first major tournament as England’s number-one goalkeeper when Euro 2012 begins this month.

The Manchester City shot-stopper was part of the England squad for the FIFA World Cup in 2010, but only as back-up to Rob Green and David James.

Now an English Premier League winner with Manchester City and England’s undisputed number one, Hart is eagerly anticipating the start of the competition and has no fears about the extra responsibility placed on his shoulders.

“I must have improved in that time (since the World Cup). I seem to be getting better,” Hart told reporters.

“Whether that comes from playing regularly … but I’ve always felt like I’m improving although I feel like I’ve got loads more to do.

“South Africa was amazing. I absolutely loved it. I just wish we had done better as a team. We had a really good squad out there and it was unfortunate we couldn’t do as well as we wanted to.

“For me, it’s a totally different mindset this time to two years ago. There’s an awful lot more expected of me this time with playing all the qualifying games and things like that.

“But I like that responsibility and hopefully I’ll bring something positive to the team.”

England begin their campaign with a match against France on June 11, and Hart expects Laurent Blanc’s side to pose a serious threat.

“The game against France will be one of the biggest games of the championships,” he said.

“France will play some pretty football around the box so we have to be ready for that.

“Thankfully I’ve been lucky enough with England to have been involved in some pretty big games the last couple of years and this will be the next one.

“The fact we are looking solid helps. It’s something I’ve had with my club side and it’s helped us do well, winning the Premier League and FA Cup.

“That’s been mirrored with England. We communicate well and have a solid set-up. The defence has been great.”

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