Hart not getting carried away
Soccer:Joe Hart remains eager to improve despite being touted as the best goalkeeper in the world by England colleague Wayne Rooney and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.
The England number one earned those plaudits after a stunning performance for City in their Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium last week, but the 25-year-old, speaking ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier with San Marino at Wembley, insisted he is determined to scale even greater heights.
"It's nice people say nice things but things are easily said. In goal, you can be the worst in the world two days later if you are on television and something mad happens in the game," said Hart. "You've got to try and take the rough with the smooth. It was great and a real special honour for some special people to say some nice things but we move on.
"You've got to remain level-headed. If you don't, it's a big slap when you do something wrong. Then people are going to say bad things about you but that's football. You can't go too far one way or the other or you leave yourself vulnerable."
Hart admitted: "I'm still trying to improve. I hate to say it but I am getting a bit older now so I have to get in a bit earlier and prepare my body a bit differently. I just know every day I want to be the guy you can rely on. I want to be the best. I want to work hard on saving every shot. Pretty simple really. I've got no silly targets like I need to win this and I need to do that.
"I need to keep working hard, keep my love and passion for the game and hopefully good things will come."
With Steven Gerrard suspended and Frank Lampard doubtful with a knee injury, there has been speculation Hart could skipper his country against San Marino, though he believes the honour will go to Manchester United striker Rooney.
"I've not thought about it at all. How the captain is chosen is the manager's decision. I've got a big responsibility to keep my place in the team for club and country. If I do get the nod, I'll try and give as much as I can in terms of helping the team.
"But I think it's between Wayne Rooney and Wayne Rooney if we are going to go on experience and how captains have been chosen in the past."
Defender Kyle Walker spoken about the impact England coach Gary Neville has had on his game as he prepares to make his first competitive start for his country. The Tottenham defender will replace the suspended Glen Johnson at right-back on Friday.
"I'm young, I want to improve, I want to become the best I can be and Gary Neville is really helping me with that aim," said Walker today. "He was a player I looked up to and watched often. He had a fantastic career. He gives me tips and coaches me through things. I'm excited to be working with him.
"I've always liked to go forward but he has helped massively in terms of myself improving defensively. I just want to keep on learning. My defending is improving every time, every week. I think it is just about experience and learning off people like Gary plus the likes of Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill."