Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has defended Joe Hart after the England goalkeeper’s mistake against Wales.
The shot-stopper got a hand to Gareth Bale’s long-range free-kick in Lens, but was ultimately unable to keep it out as he pushed it into the side of the net.
It was a disappointing effort for the City ace, but fortunately for him, England were able to stage a dramatic second-half comeback with Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge scoring to complete a turnaround and seal a 2-1 win.
Nevertheless, Hart didn’t escape criticism after the game, but Kompany was quick to leap to his defence and remind people just how important the 29-year-old can be for club and country and predicts that he will prove that to supporters before Euro 2016 concludes.
“Never mind the mistake, [it’s good to] get it out of the door early,” he told ESPN FC. “It has not cost his team; he handled the rest of the game perfectly and everything before that.
“England are very lucky to have a goalkeeper like Joe Hart and, mark my words, there will be a save that he will make at some stage that will help England progress.
“As a footballer he has improved, but as a character in the dressing room he has taken up responsibility. He has big shoulders now and I think he thrives on responsibility now. That makes him a natural leader for the team, never mind his qualities on the pitch.
“Before people starting talking about the mistake, think about what England would lack if he wasn’t there.”
England now sit top of Group B with four points from their two games, and will face Slovakia on Monday night looking to secure their place in the knockout stage with another positive result as Roy Hodgson’s men will hope to go from strength to strength.