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Joe Hart good enough for World Cup, says Alex McLeish

Joe Hart
Hart denies Nottingham Forest's David McGoldrick in Tuesday's FA Cup victory

Joe Hart is good enough to be England's World Cup goalkeeper in South Africa, says Birmingham boss Alex McLeish.

Hart, on loan from Manchester City, has kept 11 clean sheets this season and his saves on Tuesday helped to dump Nottingham Forest out of the FA Cup.

With England's number one spot still up for grabs, McLeish told BBC Radio 5 live: "He's got to be a candidate.

"Joe can probably look around at other England keepers and think he's got as good a chance as anybody."

England manager Fabio Capello appears to remain uncertain about his first-choice keeper ahead of this summer's tournament.

And Birmingham's 22-year-old keeper, on a year-long loan from Eastlands, is pushing for a starting spot in South Africa following injuries to Portsmouth's David James and the poor form of Manchester United's Ben Foster and West Ham's Robert Green.

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Hart has kept clean sheets in four of his past five matches, while Birmingham are unbeaten in 14 games, lie eighth in the Premier League and are through to the FA Cup fourth round after their hard-fought victory over Forest.

McLeish added: "When Capello looks at all of his prospective players he'll make sure they've got all the ingredients and Joe shows all those ingredients at the moment.

"He's come on in leaps and bounds and has improved his game. He's ironed out some rough edges which have made him even better."

The former Shrewsbury Town keeper has picked up one England cap, making his his debut in the 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008.

He has been included in a number of Capello's squads but has not featured in any of England's World Cup qualification or friendly matches since playing in the friendly in Port of Spain.



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see also
Birmingham 1-0 Nottm Forest
12 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Birmingham 1-1 Man Utd
09 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Nottm Forest 0-0 Birmingham
02 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Kiely sees England keeper problem
30 Dec 09 |  Football
Hart backed for England Cup spot
29 Dec 09 |  Birmingham


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