Joe Hart a major contender for World Cup, says McLeish
ALEX MCLEISH believes that Bir mingham’s on-loan goalkeeper, Joe Hart (left), must be “a major contender” to be England’s No 1 at this year’s World Cup.
The Bir mingham manager claims that Hart is on the way to becoming “a great goalkeeper” if he maintains his current form.
Hart made the season-long switch from Manchester City to St Andrew’s to play regular firstteam football and press his international claims. He has made a major contribution to Birmingham’s rise up to eighth in the Premier League.
The 22-year-old also defied Nottingham Forest with several fine saves in Birmingham’s 1-0 victory in their FA Cup thirdround replay last week, which clinched a visit to Everton in the next round.
“The Italian coaches
[with England] will be looking for all the ingredients from a goalkeeper – kicking, handling, shot-stopping, distribution,” McLeish said.
“With Joe, all the ingredients are there. Is he good enough for the England number one spot? I think he’s up there. He’s got to be a major contender.
“Joe was in top form again against Forest and made some great saves and kept us in the game. He has also played his part in the league and saved us some valuable points. They say great goalkeepers can save you 10 points during the course of a season and Joe is well on his way to that.”
Birmingham extended their unbeaten run to 14 games in all competitions with Tuesday’s victory at St Andrew’s, inflicting Forest’s first defeat in 19 matches in the process. – The Telegraph