Joe Hart urges England to extend unbeaten run

 

Joe Hart has challenged England to extend their unbeaten 2011 into next summer's European Championships after maintaining his own remarkable record at international level.

Last night's 1-0 friendly win over Sweden saw England complete a calendar year without losing a match for the first time since the mid-1990s, when they managed it in both 1994 and 1996 - not counting a penalty shootout defeat to Germany.

Manchester City goalkeeper Hart is the only player to have started all nine of England's games in 2011, which have yielded six wins and three draws.

He said: "It's a great record and we're all very proud of that inside the camp.

"But we just want to keep on winning games.

"We'd have liked to have won all nine but we can't do that and fortunately we're getting results."

The 24-year-old, who has also yet to lose in his 15 appearances for his country, added: "It's been a good year for me international-wise.

"I'm really proud and pleased to be involved in qualifying for a tournament, which was our aim at the start and something that we're really looking forward to."

England ended the year with two landmark 1-0 victories, starting with Saturday's shock success against Spain - their first over reigning world champions for 31 years.

They followed that last night by ending their Sweden hoodoo, which saw them go 43 years and 12 matches without beating the Scandinavians.

"Two tough games and we're happy to come through with two good wins," Hart said.

"Two different sides we played against and we showed two different characteristics to win.

"Saturday was tough but we dominated (Sweden) a bit more.

"They were more of a threat from set pieces but I thought we dealt with them well and got the goal."

The two games saw manager Fabio Capello blood more of the country's youngsters, with Kyle Walker, Jack Rodwell and Daniel Sturridge all making their debuts.

Hart said: "It's great. I'm really happy for the boys who got their chances.

"It's good that we're getting new players in and there are great options for the manager."

Last night's win saw England net their 2,000th goal, which was initially credited to Hart's City team-mate Gareth Barry before replays demonstrated it had been a Daniel Majstorovic own goal.

But Hart said: "Nah, that's Gaz's, Gaz's all day long."

PA

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