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Hart unrepentant about dour England display

Manchester City's goalkeeper Hart celebrates at the end of Champions League Group E soccer match against AS Roma at the Olympic stadium in Rome

Watford (UK): England goalkeeper Joe Hart said that he and his team-mates are unconcerned by criticism of the quality of their football and only worried about winning.

England played out a dreary 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland in a friendly in Dublin last weekend that was described by former England midfielder Paul Scholes as “a waste of an afternoon”.

But with Roy Hodgson’s side having used the match to get in shape ahead of this Sunday’s 2016 European Championship qualifier against Slovenia in Ljubljana, Hart believes it served a useful purpose.

“We just want to win games,” said the Manchester City goalkeeper. “We all want to play well, have 45 passes and then someone chips the keeper and someone does a bicycle kick, but that is not realistic.

“We are playing against opposition who have the same responsibilities to their country. Ideal performance would be perfect and for everyone to love it, but we have to do a job.

“It is not an easy job, but we love it and we want to win games.”

British broadcaster ITV made a tongue-in-cheek Twitter apology to viewers for showing the game, which drew a caustic response from Hart.

“Everyone is a comedian nowadays,” the 28-year-old told reporters at England’s team hotel in Watford, north of London.

“You have to be used to that in football. People think they can say things about you and do things about you because they will never be face-to-face with you, but I am used to that. I have had plenty of things from people who would not say it if it was to my face. Stuff gets said and done, like you (the media) must have about your articles, and people tweet. It is the same thing. I know how it works.”

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