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Let me take a penalty, Hart urges Hodgson

ESPN staff
June 21, 2012 « Milan not ruling out swoop for Aquilani | Chartbeat test »
Joe Hart would be happy to take a penalty for England © Getty Images
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England goalkeeper Joe Hart has revealed he is desperate to take a penalty in the eventuality of a shootout in their Euro 2012 quarter-final meeting with Italy.

Hart, who scored from the spot to help England Under 21s reach the European Under-21 Championship final three years ago, revealed he had been practising spot-kicks and would happily step up if called upon.

"If they let me," Hart said when asked if he would be willing to take a penalty. "I'll put my name forward, 100 per cent.

"They are the kind of situations where you have your chance to do your thing for the team. Hopefully it won't come to that, but if it is required for penalties to go through, then so be it, that's the route we have got to take."

Hart revealed he would do his homework on the Italian penalty takers, but believes no amount of research can prepare him for the shootout.

"Obviously I do my research, I know where all the Italian players have put their penalties, but anyone could do that just by clicking on YouTube. I watch [the tape] it quite late on the day, just have a nose through it, but it is all in the moment for me."

Although Hart admitted it was a great achievement for the Three Lions to reach the quarter-finals, he insisted it was only what the team had expected of themselves.

"Regardless of what some people thought, I think anyone who knew the players and knew our mentality and what we came to do, it is not a surprise, it is part of the plan," he said.

"We are winners. The whole point in coming here is not to keep people happy and keep people off our backs, we are not coming here so we can go home and not get bothered. We have come here to win games, be successful for us and the country.

"If it weren't to go right, we would like to leave having given everything, whether that makes people happy or keeps the press off our backs, as long as we know we have done everything in our power."

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