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Hart slams pitch as England lose to Spain

England goalkeeper Joe Hart questioned the quality of the playing surface at the Estadio Jose Rico Perez as his country suffered a 2-0 friendly defeat to Spain on Friday.

Hart was captain for the night as Wayne Rooney looked on from the bench, and the Manchester City man was beaten twice in the second half by a spectacular Mario Gaspar volley and a clinical Santi Cazorla strike.

Spain dominated possession in typically stylish fashion for long periods in Alicante but Hart, who conceded he was unhappy with his clearance in the build-up to Spain’s 84th-minute second goal, felt the pitch at the home of Segunda Division B team Heracles left much to be desired.

“It’s difficult, the lads were tired and obviously I can clear it a lot further,” he told ITV.

“It’s strange how we’ve ended up playing on a third-division pitch for a game like England-Spain.

“It [the pitch] wasn’t good enough but I’m not making excuses. It was just strange to me.

“I’m upset – I might be talking rubbish.

“We’ve been doing well for a long time now so it’s difficult when we do lose.

“We had some chances, we were in the game. We’ve lost the game so we need to dust ourselves off and do better against France.”

England are back in action at home to Didier Deschamps’ men on Tuesday night.

Hart was cheered by youngsters Dele Alli and Eric Dier – the latter making his international debut as a second-half substitute – featuring in Alicante but he called on Roy Hodgson’s team to show more cutting edge.

“We showed when we were brave we did get that one pass and we did break through Spain. We did that on enough occasions and then after that we let ourselves down a little bit,” he added.

“There’s definitely loads to improve but we’ve built a good base. We put people like Dele and Eric – guys who haven’t played many games – out there.

“I was an old man out there today and I’m 28 years old. So that’s one promising thing but there’s not a great deal you can take from defeats.”

Fri 13 Nov, 2015
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