IF ANY Celtic players let themselves down in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Fraser Forster was certainly not one of them and the big goalkeeper edged closer to his first England cap yesterday when Roy Hodgson dropped a broad hint that he will play in one of the two forthcoming internationals against Chile and Germany.
Joe Hart has started all but two of Hodgson’s 18 matches in charge but the England boss confirmed the out-of-form Manchester City man will make way for either Forster or John Ruddy for one of the two friendlies.
Hart has been benched after making errors against Cardiff, Aston Villa and Bayern Munich, while he was also at fault for Scotland’s opener at Wembley in August. Hodgson insists he still has faith in Hart even though he will miss one of the games against Chile a week on Friday or Germany four days later.
“Joe will start one of two games,’’ Hodgson said. “But I don’t think he’ll start both. It’s important for me to look at one of the other goalkeepers, possibly both. But I can say Joe will definitely start one of the games as he’s our number one goalkeeper. I believe in Joe Hart.
“I would be a lot more concerned if, in the spring of next year as we are building up to the selection, he was a constant reserve. That would bother me but I firmly believe that Joe is such a good goalkeeper that he will get back into the Manchester City team sooner or later.”
Hodgson, who handed surprise call-ups to Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, is sure either Forster or Ruddy, who have just 45 minutes’ worth of international experience between them, are strong enough deputies.
“We admire Fraser Forster,” Hodgson added. “He is a good goalkeeper. I want to put a word in for John Ruddy as well, because I know he let [seven] goals in on Saturday [against Manchester City]. I suppose in the moment that doesn’t help his cause but before that he was getting some good reviews for Norwich and doing some good things.”
Hodgson has recalled Jordan Henderson and Glen Johnson, but there was no place for highly-rated youngsters Saido Berahino, Ravel Morrison or Luke Shaw. England’s medical team will assess Jack Wilshere’s ankle injury before deciding if he will join the squad on Tuesday.