x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Ridgewell tips Hart for World Cup

Liam Ridgewell has hailed the contribution of the goalkeeper Joe Hart to Birmingham's current success.

Liam Ridgewell has hailed the contribution of the goalkeeper Joe Hart to Birmingham's current success and thinks he has as good a chance as anyone of being part of England's 2010 World Cup squad. Hart joined Birmingham on a season-long loan from Manchester City to gain regular first-team football after the arrival of Shay Given at Eastlands from Newcastle last January limited his opportunities. He came in for criticism earlier in the season for a couple of misjudgements which led to City conceding goals. But Hart has bounced back from those errors and played a key role in Birmingham chalking up five successive league wins ahead of today's clash with Everton at Goodison Park. Defender Ridgewell said: "It was disappointing when Joe got a bit of stick because he came on loan to us and obviously he has got to settle in. I think he has proved his worth and he is a fantastic keeper. In two or three games recently, he has not had a lot to do but then made crucial saves. "It's like the gaffer [Alex McLeish] said, that a good keeper is one who hasn't done anything and then they pull off an important save. "He has been fantastic so far. He has got a good chance of going to the World Cup. Harty is competing with people like Robert Green and Paul Robinson, whom he has faced in the last two games." Everton v Birmingham, 7pm, Extreme Sport

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