Joe Hart insisted he ignored his critics after delivering a man-of-the-match performance as England qualified for the World Cup.
The West Ham goalkeeper had starred in a goalless draw at Slovenia last year and he was similarly influential in the return fixture as Harry Kane’s goal secured a 1-0 win and a place at the finals in Russia.
After some shaky performances for club and country, Hart’s form has come under the microscope but he claimed this display was not in response to any criticism, as he gives such matters little attention.
Asked about his critics, Hart told ITV: “You think I care about them? I’d have a big problem if I cared – apart from the guys in the dressing room. The team have always got my back and I have always got their back.
“We have qualified for a World Cup with one game to go. Regardless of personal achievements, I think it’s important that we smile. England have qualified for a World Cup and that’s a big deal.”
How important was this man’s late save? pic.twitter.com/MKytPLJjiQ
— England (@England) October 5, 2017
Hart conceded that it was difficult for the England supporters at Wembley as the team misfired, but it could not detract from his delight at qualification.
“The guys were brilliant. We wore them down,” he added. “It was difficult for the crowd – we appreciate them coming – but the game was difficult.
“To have Harry doing that in the last minute, and for Kyle [Walker] to whip it in for him, is a big feeling. I’m really happy.”
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