West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has heaped praise on goalkeeper Joe Hart after recent criticism.
Hart has come under fire from sections of supporters and pundits this season for club and country.
The shot-stopper – on-loan from Manchester City – had a tough start to life with The Hammers but has picked up his form over the past month.
The England international has kept three clean sheets in his last four games for West Ham and kept a clean sheet last week for his country.
Bilic has said that Hart is brilliant on and off the pitch and does not deserve as much flak as he gets.
The West Ham boss points out that ITV pundits made a lot out of his challenge on a Slovenia player that was not given as a penalty, despite also making two excellent saves during the game.
Speaking to The Mirror, Bilic said this:
I watched the game against Slovenia. He was Man of the Match. But you didn’t have that feeling from the studio, from the commentator, saying it was a penalty — it wasn’t a penalty.
If it was anyone else goalkeeping in that situation, nobody would say it was a penalty. I have that feeling at this moment.
Has he become an easy target? Yes. The guy is brilliant. I’m not just talking about goalkeeping now. The guy never slaughters anyone in the job.
He is taking the bullets, he is there every single time, whether he is at City or Torino [where he spent last season on loan] or West Ham. He is a great professional and a top pro.