England coach Gareth Southgate has defended the form of West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Hart’s position has come under scrutiny, particularly after he was blamed for both of Scotland’s goals in June’s 2-2 draw at Hampden Park.

“His club have had a difficult start to the season but he’s been excellent,” Southgate said. “As a manager, we’ve only conceded the two goals in Scotland in this group so I think he’s rewarded me with the performances I wanted.

“I don’t think anyone else has had an opportunity yet to stake a strong enough claim to take over.

“But Joe knows there is competition for places, and that is healthy.”

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