England’s under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart is backing the Three Lions to to prove critics of their goalless draw with Slovakia wrong in the Euro 2016 knock-out phase.
Hart acknowledged the “tension” caused by England’s second draw which left the side waiting to meet the Group F runners-up — either Iceland, Portugal, Hungary or Austria — in Nice on Monday in the last 16.
The Three Lions arrived at the European championship finals among the favourites after winning all 10 of their qualifying games.
But having finished second in Group B behind Wales, Roy Hodgson’s England has been hammered back home for failing to turn any of their 29 shots into goals in Monday’s goalless draw with Slovakia.
Hart said the squad must suck up the attacks and focus on reaching the quarterfinals.
“It’s going to create tension and stories have got to be written, but we’ve got to remain focused,” said 29-year-old Manchester City goalkeeper.
“We’ve got a job in hand and that’s what’s important to us.
“The questions come from the outside, not the inside.
“We are very confident of what we’ve got in the group.
“We’re united, together and we want to go as far as we can.”
Following the Slovakia draw, several British newspapers branded Hodgson’s side “second rate” and “Toothless Lions” for their lack of finishing.
Hart has been slammed on social media after each of England’s performances in France.
He also could only stand and watch as Russia’s Vasili Berezutski headed in a 92nd-minute equaliser in the 1-1 opening draw with Russia.