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Hodgson gives Forster hope for Brazil after Celtic keeper breaks clean sheet record

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by Dailymail

Roy Hodgson hailed Fraser Forster for his record-breaking shut-out run with Celtic and insisted he still had a chance of making England’s World Cup squad.

Forster set a new Scottish league landmark in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hearts when he surpassed Bobby Clark’s previous record of 1,155 minutes without conceding a goal.

While some south of the border sneer at the lack of competition Celtic face, England boss Hodgson believes the goalkeeper’s form is worthy of genuine acclaim.

Record breaking: Fraser Forster has not conceded a league goal for Celtic for 1,155 minutes

‘I am really pleased for Fraser,’ said Hodgson. ‘It is a great achievement and he deserves it because he has been playing very well.

‘Celtic are also doing really well and they are sweeping aside everyone they meet and that is good for Fraser.

‘I think it will take some time before this very important record is beaten again.

‘I certainly expect Fraser to hold it for several years to come. You can only congratulate him on what is a terrific achievement and a record, of course, that is still running.’

Competition: Forster (right) is hoping to seal a place in England's squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer

Long time coming: Forster made his debut for England in the friendly defeat to Chile last November

Edwin van der Sar’s UK league record of 1,311 minutes could now be overtaken by Forster this weekend — providing, of course, he can keep out Aberdeen on Tuesday night.

‘It would be another great achievement if he could beat van der Sar’s record but knowing Fraser and Neil Lennon, like I do, the most important thing for those two will not be individual plaudits but winning football matches for Celtic,’ added Hodgson.

‘I can’t imagine Neil Lennon playing eight or nine men in defence to help Fraser Forster get a shut-out record.

‘But he is obviously good enough to break Edwin’s record and he also has good enough players in front of him to help him do it.’

Hope: Roy Hodgson (left) insists Forster still has a chance of making the plane to Brazil

Manchester City’s Joe Hart will be England’s first-choice goalkeeper in Brazil this summer, leaving two back-up places up for grabs on the plane to Rio.

Ben Foster and Jack Butland are thought to be favourites to get the nod, but Hodgson is not closing the door on Forster after handing him his international debut last year.

‘Joe Hart and Ben Foster are playing well for their teams, as is Fraser, John Ruddy at Norwich and young Jack Butland also,’ said Hodgson.

‘We are not short of goalkeepers and it will be a difficult choice to make when I have to name my three for the World Cup.

‘Joe Hart is in pole position because he has played in all the games. Before I start changing that, somebody will need to really work hard because Joe is a proven No 1 for England.

‘There is a lot of competition for the two other positions and I will be looking on with great interest to see what happens between now and May when I have to name my squad for Brazil.’

Aim: Forster (right) is closing in on Edwin van der Sar¿s UK league record of 1,311 minutes without conceding

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