England goalkeeper Joe Hart made some fine saves against Slovenia.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart made some fine saves against Slovenia. Francois Mori

Hart saves England's blushes against Slovenia

FOOTBALL: A sloppy performance in a 0-0 draw with Slovenia is not what interim manager Gareth Southgate would have wanted as he looks to secure the England job permanently.

England was thankful for Joe Hart in the World Cup qualifier in Ljubljana, with the goalkeeper making a number of top saves to keep the game scoreless.

Southgate now has next month's qualifier against Scotland and a friendly with Spain to prove he is the man to take England forward.

On this evidence most pundits would say he is not, as England, which still sits on top of Group F by two points, struggled to string passes together and had only three shots on target against a team ranked 67th in the world.

Hart kept his side in the game on three occasions but Southgate tried to look on the bright side.

"To have to deal with the amount of things we've had to deal with over a period of time, the objective is to get the points on the board for the country,” he said.

"We still sit top of the group and I know people will be disappointed we haven't won but in the long term we are ahead in the group and we've got two difficult away games out of the way so everything is in our hands.”

In other qualifiers, reigning champion Germany made it three wins from three with a 2-0 home win over Northern Ireland, Slovakia beat Scotland 3-0 and Poland defeated Armenia 2-1.

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