LONDON — Goalkeeper Joe Hart was delighted to help England secure all three points against Lithuania in their World Cup qualifying match on Sunday, despite a far from vintage display at Wembley.
Jermain Defoe and Jamie Vardy were on target in either half to ensure England tightened their grip on top spot in Group F.
But the Three Lions were not at their best for long periods of the game, with Lithuania out to spoil the hosts’ attacks rather than create their own.
Such tactics were to be expected from a team ranked 107th in the world and Hart admitted the scoreline was not as spectacular as Gareth Southgate’s side wanted it to be.
“It wasn’t pretty,” he told ITV. “They were a better team than maybe they gave themselves credit for. “We’d have loved to score five or six.
“They’re frustrating afternoons for everyone — we appreciate the crowd today (Sunday). We won the game, we’re top of the group and our goal is Russia.” England remain on course to secure a place at the 2018 World Cup, courtesy of 13 points from their opening five games.
Hart wore the captain’s armband as skipper Wayne Rooney was not included in the latest squad due to injury.
But the on-loan Torino goalkeeper is adamant Rooney remains the group’s leader, despite ongoing questions about his long-term future at international level.
“Wayne Rooney is our captain, I know that. It’s obviously a proud moment to captain your country, but I know my place in this team,” said Hart. — Agencies.