Comment: For the risk-averse Roy Hodgson there is no possibility of dropping Joe Hart now

The England manager has made clear he will stick with the under-fire Manchester City stopper

If there was any doubt in Roy Hodgson’s mind about who would be his goalkeeper for the World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland, he did not let on earlier.

Speaking less than 24 hours after Hart was beaten at his near post by first Franck Ribery and then Arjen Robben, Hodgson made clear that his faith remained in the Manchester City goalkeeper.

“I believe Joe will shrug this off,” Hodgson said. “I'm sure he's not happy with the criticism or the goals he thinks he should have stopped. This is a fact of life. He's never let me or the team down in my time here. I've every faith he'll have the confidence to put this behind him. Confidence improves with performances that give you rave reviews, not with criticism.”

Hodgson is not without alternatives, after another impressive performance from Fraser Forster for Celtic against Barcelona this week. For the risk-averse Hodgson, though, there is no possibility of changing now. Forster will not be thrown in against Stefan Jovetic, against Robert Lewandowski. In the games that matter most, experience counts first.

“We're pleased with Fraser, he's done very well and we're impressed with him. He has a great future. But it would be a mistake to suggest he should be given the responsibility going into these two vital games.”

“The players with the most experience and have the shirt have to show they are worthy of it in these two games, then we'll see what Fraser can do between now and the summer. I have faith in Joe Hart. I have no doubt he'll come through these games, get us through and will put that bad form behind him.”

If England are to beat Montenegro and Poland – which they failed to do away from home – they may have to play with more freedom than they did in their last game, the turgid 0-0 draw in Ukraine. Hodgson was fiercely criticised for England’s approach that night, but he firmly defended the performance today.

Rejecting the claim that England’s football was ‘joyless’, Hodgson said that England’s position was still an enviable one.

“I don't think the Ukraine fans were full of joy with their team's performance. They didn't do anything more in the game than we did, and it was more incumbent on them to do more. But I know we're capable of playing some very good attacking football. We've shown that, even against Brazil. This game was a special game, and we had a lot of responsibility in that game. We had to make certain we kept the chances of qualifying for Brazil in our own hands. I don't know if we'd have been thanked that much by giving a cavalier performance flying forward but losing the game.

“It's up to the players now to see these games as a great opportunity. We mustn't be worried about the games, about not playing well because, if we do that, we won't play well. The fans have to get behind us and cheer us on.”

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape