England coach Gary Neville believes goalkeeper Joe Hart will play a huge role in determining his side’s success at Euro 2012.
Hart cemented himself as England’s first choice during qualifying for the tournament and has enjoyed a successful season for Manchester City, appearing in every league game as his side won their first Premier League title.
And former Manchester United captain Neville praised the young custodian, insisting he could prove the difference between success and failure should his side take part in a penalty shoot-out in Poland and Ukraine.
“I have been explaining this to some of the lads over the last few days – I went to five tournaments and in four of them we went out on penalties,” Neville told the Daily Mail.
“I’m not being disrespectful to the goalkeepers who I played with, but we have a great goalkeeper now and that may be the difference.”
Despite highlighting England’s penalty record the former Manchester United defender stopped short of using spot-kicks as an excuse for England’s past failures.
“That’s not been the real reason. At the 1998 World Cup, France and Brazil were better than us,” he added.
“I have analysed it. If you want it in one sentence, we haven’t been good enough.”
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