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Hart hails defensive improvement

Joe Hart says England have shown much greater defensive solidity since their World Cup exit in Brazil last year.

England bowed out at the group stage after 2-1 defeats to both Italy and Uruguay in their opening two matches.

An insipid 0-0 draw with Costa Rica followed and in the nine games since the World Cup, England have won seven and drawn two, conceding just three goals.

Roy Hodgson’s side head into Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia as leaders of Group E with a perfect record from five matches.

“We’ve defended well as a team and that was one thing we wanted to nail down after four goals in the first two games ultimately put us out [of the World Cup],” Hart said.

“It’s something we addressed and work hard on.

“We’ve got so much attacking flair. We look to hold it down at the back and the boys do what they do up front.

“The qualifying campaign obviously isn’t the same level as the group stages of a World Cup. We get opposition put in front of us and we’re expected to win most of the games. We’ve done the minimum but we’ve made strides.

“We’re building a team and building an ethos. We know how we want to play and hopefully we can get as many qualifying points as possible to move to France as quickly as possible.

“Qualifying is our first objective. Let’s get that out of the way and then we’ll be ready to go.

“We’d love to win 10 out of 10. It’d be good for the tournament to put us in a good place. Slovenia is definitely a tough game for us because they’re one of the teams that can catch us in the group. All our intentions are on that at the moment.”

Thu 11 Jun, 2015
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