England owe Joe Hart for Slovenia draw - Southgate

England owe Joe Hart for Slovenia draw - Southgate

England owe Joe Hart for Slovenia draw - Southgate

Not long after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho dropped Wayne Rooney from his starting XI, the player has now also been axed by England boss Gareth Southgate.

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate hails the "fantastic" Joe Hart after the keeper made a string of saves to help his side to a 0-0 draw with Slovenia in Ljubljana.

"It is a football decision", Southgate told a packed news conference. He's had to live with that sort of reaction throughout his career.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart feels that captain Wayne Rooney still remains a "leader" for the national side, despite coming under critisism over the past few weeks.

He did not, however, offer an opinion on whether or not his decision to drop Rooney was the right one.

"Everyone can see we could be better".

"And, you know, two or three of his saves tonight were absolutely outstanding, so I think he showed the level that he's capable of".

"With the overall objective of qualifying, we have kept the team on track". I'm sure that will happen with me. I have to be realistic about the impact we can have.

Now they face a tricky trip to Slovenia, who have enjoyed a pretty good start to their campaign by collecting four points from their opening two fixtures.

"He is massive for this team and just because he is not playing, it won't change anything".

Rooney remains a key figure in the camp and Southgate adopted an nearly paternal tone at one stage as he reflected on the endless speculation that comes with Rooney's wider celebrity. It's 0-0 and we are going to have to take it.

England stayed in first place in the group, two points above Slovenia and Lithuania.

"I will be ready to come off the bench if needed", he said.

"I was asked to do quite a bit", said Hart, who clattered into the goal frame when acrobatically denying Kurtic. There needs to be respect.

"I am not naive in terms of thinking that I am still a 20-year-old who could do what I could do when I was 20. It is something which you have to go through and I am big enough to deal with it". Space jam aliens at it again this time stealing @ericdier football ability #SLOENG - Craig Whiting October 11, 2016 I like Eric Dier, but he's been fucking woeful - Colin Auns October 11, 2016 Eric Dier living up to his name.

"I don't understand it [the booing]".

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