Roy Hodgson admits goalkeeper, Joe Hart, is crucial to England’s hopes at Euro 2012, and believes he can help build confidence in the camp.
Hart played a pivotal role in Manchester City’s title triumph, last term, and has been an England regular over the past couple of years.
He will be between the posts in England’s opener against France, in Donetsk, on Monday, and will need to be at his best to repel a potent frontline. France are currently one of the favourites to win Euro 2012, according to the football betting on Bet365.
"I agree he will be vital. His form for Manchester City has been superb", said Hodgson."When he has played for England, he has done very well and, if we are to do well, there is no doubt we will need Joe Hart in top form."
England have struggled to produce a world-class goalkeeper since David Seaman retired in 2002. Many keepers before Hart tried and failed to make their mark – with Paul Robinson, David James, and Scott Carson finding themselves under the media spotlight, following unconvincing displays.
Robert Green endured a nightmare in the 2010 World Cup, but has bounced back and made his first international appearance since South Africa against Norway, on May 26. He will provide cover for Hart at Euro 2012, along with inexperienced 19-year-old, Jack Butland.
Hodgson will be hoping he does not need to call upon his reserves during the tournament. The England boss admitted he places significant stock in his goalkeeper.
"If you look at the top England teams of the past, we have often had a goalkeeper that people have suggested is one of the best in Europe or, in the case of Gordon Banks, in the world", said Hodgson.
"He produces the save that a normal goalkeeper wouldn't. That lifts your team higher up the league. It also gives confidence, which is another factor." Fans of live football will no doubt be aware that England’s Euro 2012 campaign kicks off on Monday.