England goalkeeper Joe Hart has revealed that he will happily step up to take a penalty for the Three Lions if needed at any point during the knock-out stages.
Penalty shoot-outs have been one of England’s weak points in major international tournaments and as Roy Hodgson’s men prepare for Sunday’s tricky quarterfinal against the gritty Italians, concerns over spot-kick situations are inevitable.
Hart, whose presence this time around certainly makes England stronger from the standpoint of defending the opposition’s penalties, has also made it clear that he can sign up to take one just as confidently.
“If they let me take one, I would. I’ll put my name forward 100 percent. I’ll back myself in the tournament, but hopefully it won’t come to that,” Hart told theFA.com in the build-up to Sunday’s highly anticipated fixture.
The Manchester City number one added: “You have the chance to do your thing for the team. If it requires penalties to get through, then so be it.”
Hart also echoed teammate Scott Parker’s sentiment that contrary to some suggestions, England have not over-achieved in Euro 2012 and their job is far from complete at this point.
“There has been a group of people who thought we may not do well but if you knew the players, it’s part of the plan and not a surprise we’re here,” Hart explained.
“We are winners. The whole point coming here is not to keep people off our backs. We came here to win games for us and the country. If it wasn’t to go right, I don’t like talking about that, but we would have given everything.
“Italy have a very good team and a very good history. [But] we don’t fear anyone,” the 25-year old concluded.