Mancini backs Hart to become world great
- Thu 27 Jan 2011, 11:43AM
- Posted by David Clayton
Roberto Mancini has backed Joe Hart following a couple of uncharacteristic lapses in concentration recently and believes he can become one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
The England keeper has been criticised in the national press for his recent performances at Leicester and Aston Villa, even though he has otherwise been impressive throughout the campaign.
Hart has the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with 11 to date, though the 23-year-old is constantly under the spotlight being England’s first choice custodian.
Accordingly, any error is magnified a 100 times, and Mancini was keen to voice his support for his young charge.
“I hadn’t read anything relating to Joe’s form in the Press,” said the Blues’ boss.
“Every player has difficult moments in their career and what he has to do is be strong at this time because when everything is going OK, it is easy for him.
“For a young goalkeeper to receive this criticism is a challenge and he must be strong in the face of it.
What people need to remember is how many times he’s helped us win games or earn a point this season
"He is always very assured, but it is important to have concentration always. He is improving but I think that he has a chance to improve more because he is young and this is his second year in the first team.
“He can become one of the best goalkeepers in England and the world, but for this to happen he has to want to work and want to improve.”
England manager Fabio Capello has also added his thoughts on Hart’s form, saying: "He has made mistakes but, also, he is young.
"I think it is important for him to understand that he has to be focused in every moment of the game. It is difficult to play for a team that has to win and has spent a lot of money to win.
“You have to understand that, when you play against another team from the middle of the table or the bottom of the table, these teams will play 110 per cent to beat you.”