sport

Hart: I have learnt a lot

Joe Hart says his season at Manchester City has taught him some valuable lessons and he is determined to keep working hard to ensure his standards do not slip.

Hart had a spell out of the team at the Etihad Stadium after some disappointing performances led to Manuel Pellegrini bringing in Costel Pantilimon.

Hart was later recalled and ended the campaign strongly to help Man City win the Premier League title, meaning that he is now heading to the World Cup as Roy Hodgson's No.1 for England.

Having produced another impressive display in Friday's 3-0 win over Peru, Hart admits that his difficult experience at City has made him more humble.

"I was just focused on getting back in the team at Manchester City," he explained.

"I have learnt a lot this season, that football definitely does not revolve around myself, there are other great goalkeepers around the world.

"I am at a very good club in Manchester City who have three good goalkeepers, I am part of an England squad that have five or six to choose from, I just know I have to work hard, try and get to the best level I can be and be the best option for the manager."

Questioned on whether adversity had made him stronger, Hart added: "I don't know.

"I am living in the moment, when I was out of the side I got my head down, worked hard, supported Costel Pantilimon, he did great, and tried to be the best option for the manager.

"I've got no right to play in every game, whether that's for Manchester City or England, I know that.

"It was a bit more in the spotlight, but I know that if your standards drop there are some very good players ready to take your place for both club and country.

"I just have to keep pushing myself to be the best."

Hart is bullish about England's chances at the World Cup after some encouraging performances under Hodgson.

He said: "We are defending well, we are getting our principles right, we are listening to the manager and the coaching staff and we are moving as a unit."

England will come up against Italy in their opening group match, the team they lost to on penalties at Euro 2012.

Hart was beaten by a cheeky spot-kick from Andrea Pirlo on that occasion, after the keeper had tried to unsettle the Azzurri midfielder.

Pirlo wrote in his recent autobiography: "I made my decision right at the last second, when I saw Joe Hart, the England goalie, doing all sorts on the line."

Reflecting on the incident, Hart added: "I don't think he did it to embarrass me - he just tried to get it in the net and they won the shoot-out."