England defender Phil Jagielka insisted Joe Hart performed merely as expected as the dropped Manchester City goalkeeper made numerous fine saves in Tuesday’s defeat to Germany.
Hart, who lost his City place for a series of high-profile errors, received the unequivocal backing of his England team-mates after making his first start in more than three weeks in the 1-0 loss as England suffered successive Wembley defeats for the first time in 36 years.
“He’s been in for some criticism, some of it a little bit harsh,” Jagielka said.
“But Joe’s a big boy and that’s the only way he can prove his critics wrong by making some fantastic saves.
“He won’t be getting that many pats on the back from the lads because we expect him to do it.
“I’ve backed Joe all the time, all the players have backed Joe all the time.”
Hart made a double save from Per Mertesacker and Max Kruse before the Arsenal defender headed in what proved to be the winner from a first-half corner.
Fraser Forster played in Friday’s loss to Chile, ending Hart’s run of 14 consecutive games, but it was again clear the City man is Roy Hodgson’s first choice.
Jagielka’s defensive partner Chris Smalling added: “I think he did very well.
“He produced a couple of really good saves and bailed me out at one of the corners as well. I think he was terrific.”
Andros Townsend, who hit the post in the second half for England, added to the praise.
The Tottenham winger said: “He made a great save from the corner before the one they scored.
“He’s been fantastic and hopefully he continues that form.”