Former Chelsea and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has placed the blame at the feet of the fans for Joe Hart's performance in West Ham's defeat to Burnley last time out, as he backed the 30-year-old for a place in England's World Cup squad.
The Hammers have fallen to three consecutive league defeats which leaves David Moyes's side just three points above the relegation zone with eight games remaining, and the patience of West Ham supporters reached breaking point against the Clarets as fans invaded the field of play and protested against the owners.
The lack of harmony in the stands was mirrored on the field as West Ham fell to a 3-0 defeat and Hart was heavily criticised for his role in Ashley Barnes' goal, and Burnley's third of the afternoon, after fumbling a shot many expected him to have saved.
The 30-year-old has had to contend with Adrian for a place in the starting eleven and despite yet another costly error, Schwarzer told Sky Sports' The Debate, via HITC, that Hart had reason the external circumstance in the London Stadium to contend with which threw him off his game.
He said: “There was a mistake for the third goal [against Burnley] but I think the circumstances had a lot to do with that with the fans coming on to the pitch, not just for Joe but for all the players.
"If he plays in the last eight games of the season for West Ham he’ll be on 28 games, that’s not a disaster, it’s not like he hasn’t played, that’s two third of a season.”
With a lack of game time this season following a series of errors Hart has been subject to criticism and questions surrounding his ability to perform for England on the world stage, a doubt Schwarzer himself does not hold as he backed Hart's experience to shine through.
He added: “He’ll [Gareth Southgate] give Joe every opportunity to get a run of games and get a run of good form. I think he would have had Joe pencilled in before he was dropped form the West Ham side.
"[For me] he has to go regardless of whether he is number one, just for that experience.”