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DON'T CALL ME A VICTIM; SAN MARINO v ENGLAND KEEPER JOE'S OUT TO PROVE A POINT.

Byline: JOHN CROSS j.cross@trinityMirror.com

ready to fight for his ENGLAND life after an up and down campaign JOE HART is facing the biggest test of his ENGLAND career after his roller-coaster season for club and country.

The Manchester City keeper has made some high-profile mistakes which earned him a public dressing down from boss Roberto Mancini who threatened to drop him.

And he appears to have finally got some serious competition at ENGLAND level after West Brom keeper BEN FOSTER decided to make himself available again.

But he admits he has done a lot of soul searching and r e j e c t s any suggestion that he's a "victim".

His crucial mistake at Southampton cost City in the title race, he earned a dressing down from Mancini after they lost at Real Madrid in the Champions League and he shouldered the blame when ENGLAND blew a lead in the world." Cup qualifier in Poland.

There have been highs as well after his brilliant display against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League but 25-year-old Hart is realistic ENOUGH to admit that his position is now under greater scrutiny.

"I've tried to stay consistent, prepare and show desire in the games," he said. "I do everything I can to save shots, sometimes I can save them, sometimes not. Sometimes the ones that I should be saving, haven't been saved.

"I don't want to make a mistake. I don't want goals to go in past me ever, but they do.

t d "If it's down to me or down to a great finish or a deflection, you've just got to think what you can do better and then push forward mdi and t r a in hard. People are free to criticise or praise. I'm never going to tell anyone what to say or do about me but at the same time I don't have to listen. I'm pretty strong with how I feel about what I should and shouldn't have done.

"That's the beauty of football and that's why it gets so many people involved. People are allowed their opinions."

Hart admits there have been some heart-to-hearts with his close friends and family while Mancini has been less discreet in his criticism and warned: "If Joe continues to make mistakes he goes on the bench."

When quizzed on his relationship with Mancini, Hart said: "That's for behind the scenes but he is free to do his press conferences as he feels and if he feels you are not up to it...

"All managers have their different way of doing things. I've got a few people around me. I know who my core is. I keep them close. And I like to think I'd be there y whenever they need me in their life.

"I'd like to think I'm still improving. I'm working on addressing certain situations. I'm working with the same appetite, the same hunger, the same love for the game, the same will to win.

"It's hard as a keeper, you can only have your best game depending on how the other team play. You can't go looking for one of your best games because you can't go round 10 people and then score.

"Dortmund was probably one of my better games because in the teams that I play in at the moment I don't come under the same sort of pressure as often so it's hard to have the outstanding games.

"Victim? I'm definitely not a victim.

I love playing, I love training hard, I love playing hard and I love winning. I have to accept there's going to be another side and you have to take that sometimes."

Hart is " Hart i & BEN unlikely to get much of a test in San Marino but Montenegro is likely to be a different story. at e Hodgson has been tough on players in the past who have turned their back on England but his former h o on mer keeper at West Brom, Foster, has been welcomed back with open arms after his sabbatical. ter, with his open sa he cwwB Hart insists the competition will be very welcome. He added: "It was a nice surprise. Ben's been doing great for West Brom. He did great at Birmingham as well. He definitely should be in the squad and it's nice he feels fit and ready to come and get involved.

fo gwsaag gBtt "I'd imagine it would be good for competition. But Ben adds to the squad and that can only be a positive thing."

JOE & BEN FOSTER Date of birth April 3, 1983 (age 29) Place of birth Leamington Spa Height 6ft 4in SENIOR CAREER Years Team Apps 2000-2001 RC Warwick 18 2001-2005 Stoke City 0 2002 Bristol City (loan) 0 2002-2003 Tiverton Town (loan) 16 2004 Stafford R (loan) 1 2004 Kidderminster H (loan) 2 2005 Wrexham (loan) 17 2005-2010 Man Utd 12 2005-2007 Watford (loan) 73 2010-2012 Birmingham City 38 2011-2012 West Brom (loan) 37 2012- West Brom 23 NATIONAL TEAM 2007- England 5 JOE HART Date of birth April 19, 1987 (age 25) Place of birth Shrewsbury Height 6ft 5in SENIOR CAREER Years Team Apps 2003-2006 Shrewsbury Town 54 2006- Manchester City 155 2007 Tranmere (loan) 6 2007 Blackpool (loan) 5 2009-2010 Birmingham (loan) 36 NATIONAL TEAM 2005-2007 England U19 5 2007-2009 England U21 21 2008- England 28 HART BREAKERSBRE JOE HART has endured the toughest season of his career. Here are five of his high-profile blunders 1 Southampton v Man City, 3-1 defeat, February 2013 Hart let a shot from Rickie Lambert squirm out of his grasp for Steven Davis to stab home the loose ball. The defeat was a devastating blow to City's title hopes.

2 Real Madrid v Man City, 3-2 defeat, September 2012 Beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo's late winner which eventually cost Manchester City dear as they crashed out of Europe.

Roberto Mancini gave Hart a dressing down after the match. 3 Poland v England, 1-1 draw, October 2012 Hart held up his hands and blamed himself for Kamil Gilk's equaliser as he missed a punch which cost England victory in Warsaw which would have put them in a strong qualifying position.

4 Everton v Man City, 2-0 defeat, March 2013 Beaten from long range by Leon Osman in a defeat which may have finally ended City's lingering and distant title hopes. 5 Man City v Man United, 3-2 defeat, December 2012 Got the blame for Robin van Persie's late winner which was a huge goal in the title race. Roberto Mancini blamed Hart for not lining up his wall better.

CAPTION(S):

PUNISHED IN POLAND ?Hart fails to collect cross as Glik scores

it A DERBY DEVASTATION ?United stole victory with last-gasp winner SINNER AGAINST SAINTS ?Hart howler gifted Southampton a goal

A REAL STRUGGLE ?Madrid loss sparked Euro exit

AT FULL STRETCH Hart goes through his paces during training yesterday s
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 21, 2013
Words:1155
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