Joe Hart’s honest assessment after missing out on World Cup squad

Date published: Friday 18th May 2018 9:53

Joe Hart says his omission from England’s World Cup squad has been “hard to take”.

The 31-year-old has been left out of the 23-man group for the finals in Russia by national team boss Gareth Southgate, with Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope his preferred goalkeepers.

Hart was one of England’s key players in qualifying but after falling out of favour at club level with first Manchester City and then West Ham, he now finds himself on the outside looking in.

He wrote on Instagram: “Not going to lie, I’m gutted. After two years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take.”

Hart played every minute of England’s first nine qualifiers as the team secured their place in Russia, with Butland starting the final match against Lithuania.

Hart added: “I’m proud to have put in the graft and play every minute to qualify with the team and have a really important input in that outcome.

“I know what I bring to the team, but it is what it is. Good luck to the team out there, the players know that even though I won’t be there, I will have my England shirt on as a fan this time and supporting all the way. No fear, go and smash it.”

Hart is not even on Southgate’s standby list – with Burnley’s Tom Heaton the only goalkeeper in that group.

Southgate spoke about the decision to leave Hart out at his press conference on Thursday.

“Of course it was a difficult call,” he said.

“He played in most of our qualifying matches, he’s been a big part of the England team the last few years and he’s a valued member of the squad.

“But in the end I’ve got to look at performances over the last 18 months with their clubs and the three lads we picked were the three best goalkeepers in the league this year.

“There’s no reason for this to be the end. He has an important career decision this summer and I hope he can be back at his very best.”

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