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Joe Hart is focused on West Ham’s survival, not this summer’s World Cup

The 30-year-old goalkeeper helped the Hammers hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea v West Ham United – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Chelsea v West Ham United – Premier League – Stamford Bridge

By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

Joe Hart admits West Ham face a season-defining game against Stoke next week.

The Hammers grabbed a battling point at Chelsea on Sunday to give themselves a healthy six-point cushion above the relegation zone.

But next Monday they host fellow strugglers Stoke knowing a defeat would drag them right back into trouble ahead of a tricky run-in including fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” said goalkeeper Hart.

“Next Monday against Stoke is our game of the season now. But that’s the future, in the present we have 34 points, six ahead of the relegation zone and that’s great for us.”

Hart put in a man-of-the-match display against the Blues, making fine saves from Willian, Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud to preserve a point.

The 30-year-old is in danger of losing his England spot after being dropped by West Ham earlier this season, but he insists he is not thinking about this summer’s World Cup.

“I’m very focused on West Ham at the moment, that’s my job and that’s what I’m here to do, to fight for this team,” he added.

“We are creating a really good spirit in the team, right the way through, from the injured boys, the boys on the bench, we stick together on and off the pitch and Chelsea was a good example of that.”

Javier Hernandez climbed off the bench to secure a 1-1 draw for the visitors after Cesar Azpilicueta put Chelsea ahead.

The reigning champions are 10 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham having won just three matches since the turn of the year and face Southampton next weekend in a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup semi-final later this month.

Blues defender Antonio Rudiger told the club website: “The thing is we have to start playing good football and winning games, because if we don’t win games we cannot get in the top four.

“We have to try and turn this around and finish the season on a high. There’s no other way. We have to go to Southampton and do our thing.”

Press Association

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