Joe Hart has made it clear that focus is the key to England’s success in their next two World Cup qualifiers and ahead of tonight’s home fixture against minnows San Marino, the Manchester City goalkeeper is happy to have prepared well.
Hart, whose first clean sheet of the Premier League season came at the end of last weekend’s 3-0 home win over Sunderland, is expected to have another easy night between the goal posts at Wembley this evening.
However, the 25-year old is aware that the expectations from England to win big over San Marino would allow the visitors to play more freely and look for a shock lead early in the match.
Given that the suspended Steven Gerrard’s proven leadership as a captain would not be available at the field during the match, Hart has called on his teammates to demonstrate a collective sense of focus and respect towards the opposition.
“Concentration is key and it’s always key. I imagine, like most teams when they come to Wembley, they will try to defend. I can’t foresee what the game is going to be like but I know I’ll need to keep alert and keep other people alert,” Hart told the FA’s official website.
Moving on to the topic of England’s preparations at the new St. George’s Park training center, Hart had only good things to say.
“It’s amazing with the facilities that are here. I think it’s only going to be a positive thing for the country football-wise, with the way things are going to move forward. It’s great for us to use and it’s got more than you need so it’s a step in the right direction and can only help,” he explained.
In addition to the absence of Gerrard, the Three Lions will also have to cope without the services of Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand, who were sent back to Stamford Bridge for illness treatment, casting doubt over their ability to feature in Tuesday’s match away to Poland.