Happy Hart relishing regular games

Happy Hart relishing regular games

Joe Hart wants to establish himself as England number one and is relishing the prospect of finally making his competitive debut for his country in Friday’s home Euro 2012 qualifier with Bulgaria.

Hart made his first appearance under Fabio Capello in 2008 against Trinidad and Tobago and was part of the World Cup squad this summer.

He replaced David James between the posts for last month’s friendly with Hungary and now is almost certain to be in the starting line-up at Wembley.

It will be another massive tonic for Hart after Roberto Mancini named him in the Manchester City side to start the season in preference to Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given.

Hart said: “I’d love the opportunity to establish myself but I’m just working hard and enjoying every game at the moment with Man City.

“We’ve got a few extra games in the Europa League as well and there are lots of opportunities to play and that is what I love doing. I’m enjoying it at the moment.

“Hopefully that will all tie together and I’ll try and get into the team on Friday.

“Everyone is looking forward to Friday because there are a few opportunities for people who maybe would not get as much of a chance if the established players are here.

“There are a couple of opportunities for people to set their marker and be involved in something special.”

Hart added: “I’ve been involved in a few of the qualifiers for the World Cup which was a great privilege and there was an awful lot going on around them.

“They are huge games and huge for the country and it will exciting to get that opportunity (to play in one of them).

“But I am just training hard and doing my best to get in the firing line for that game.”

Hart, who spent last season on loan at Birmingham, is hoping England can start to win over the fans after their dismal showing in South Africa even though he has plenty of respect for Bulgaria.

And he insists England have enough talent at their disposal to be a force to be reckoned with.

Hart said: “The aim is to get back on track. We’ve got so much respect for the opposition. No international is easy.

“I can say that from watching quite a lot of them when not having been involved in too many.

“The countries that are not as easy to play against, they put 11 behind the ball, like in the Hungary game.

“But you’ve got to find a way to win and luckily we have got lots of winners in our team.

“A win on Friday can lift everyone. That is why it is huge.”

Hart added: “Do I sense it’s a new era? I don’t know. It is hard for me to say. I don’t think anything has changed too drastically.

“There are a few players who retired at the end of the World Cup but, with England. there is always fresh talent coming through.

“We are a blessed nation as regards to that and there are good young players pushing people and there are established players that sometimes get overlooked.”

Hart has been impressed by the start made to the campaign of his clubmate Adam Johnson who was axed from Fabio Capello’s final 23 for the World Cup.

He said: “Adam has really started the season well. He was gutted not to be involved in the summer but he has really come back firing.

“He started pre-season a lot earlier than most and he is looking really sharp.

“He really wants to make an impression in the Premier League and on the international scene.”

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