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Joe sets his heart on England glory

Joe Hart 0809

Joe Hart 0809

Joe Hart is aiming to finish his rollercoaster season with a medal this summer - even if the talented goalkeeper is having to make do with a place on the bench at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Joe was our UEFA Cup star back in August with his penalty shoot-out heroics against Midtjylland and was drafted into two of Fabio Capello's full England squads before losing his City place to new signing Shay Given in January.

But the 21-year-old prospect, backed by manager Mark Hughes as a regular England keeper of the future, plans to bounce back when Stuart Pearce's England Under-21s chase European Championship glory in Sweden in June.

He already has a full England cap to his name from last summer's trip to Trinidad, but the former Shrewsbury keeper is delighted to be back in the fold at the Under-21s, who face France tonight at Nottingham Forest.

Hart, who played in Friday night's record-equalling 5-0 win in Norway, said: "It's good to be in this squad, I love seeing the boys. I still class myself as an Under-21s player and I'm looking forward to getting ready for the summer.
"It's given me a massive confidence boost to be involved with the senior team. I haven't had a chance to play this season, but to watch how the team go about what they do, representing their country and the pressure that comes with it, has really given me an insight.

"Jamo (David James) has been really class. I was with him for a couple of weeks at Manchester City before he went to Portsmouth - he takes a lot of time out and an interest in us and wants us all do well.

"That goes for others too. When I was with the first team there was an Under-21 game on the telly and most of the squad were there watching."

Hart, who was understudy to Scott Carson in the last European Championships, added: "I didn't play any of the games, it was more of a learning experience watching how Scotty went about it.

"I think the team we have now would hold their own in the Premier League. Most of the lads have first-team experience and we’re really strong in every position. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to play and bring home the trophy in the summer."

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Pablo Zabaleta 0809

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Martin Petrov 0809

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