England defence rock sold, says Hart
By Football News
Goalkeeper Joe Hart has played down concerns about England's defensive options being stretched by injury.
Following Rio Ferdinand's ill-fated recall to the England squad, injuries to Gary Cahill and Michael Dawson have left manager Roy Hodgson with a limited player pool to select from.
Inexperienced at international level, Steven Caulker and Steven Taylor have been drafted in as England prepare for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on Friday and Montenegro next Tuesday.
"No. I don't think we could have a crisis at England because of the quality of the players that we've got and I don't think we've ever struggled to pick a squad," Hart said.
"So that's my personal opinion and I always feel comfortable when I'm here."
The confusion over Ferdinand's decision not to join the England squad has raised questions over how some players perceive international football.
But the club versus country row is a no-brainer to Hart.
"I talk from the summer I played in (at the European championships), that was a real high point in my career to play in something like that," he said.
"I know what it's like to watch, and to want and will England (to succeed) and it's always a nice relief for a fan as well with the travails of your club team and the highs of those to focus on England."
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard is now setting his sights on an international milestone after scoring his 200th goal for Chelsea against West Ham on Sunday.
The England star can move to within four caps of an international century by featuring in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Hart ensured Lampard had to wait to reach the 200-mark for Chelsea - keeping out a penalty when Manchester City played them in February.
But the England shot-stopper will have no way - and no reason - to prevent him from writing his name in the history books this time around.
"He kind of sets his own boundaries and he's a great pro and there's not a bad word you could say about him on or off the field," Hart said.
"He's a fantastic player and I'm really happy for him to get his 200th goal.
"He's someone you look up to; someone who is great to see in the England squad and it's good to see him defy (criticism)."
Fellow midfielder Scott Parker also spoke glowingly of the 34-year-old.
"Personally, I couldn't pay him enough compliments and I'm sure many of the players who have been in his company and played with him would say exactly the same," Parker said.
"He thoroughly deserves it, really. And like I said, as crazy as it sounds, I'm not surprised."