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Southgate: Hart won’t play

Southgate: Hart won't play

Last Updated: 12/06/17 2:22pm

Joe Hart will not play for England against France in Paris

Joe Hart will not play for England against France in Paris

Joe Hart will not play for England against France in Paris

Gareth Southgate has confirmed Joe Hart will not play for England against France on Tuesday night.

Burnley’s Tom Heaton will play the first half of the friendly in Paris, with Jack Butland of Stoke City taking the second.

Hart, who has 71 caps for England, received criticism for letting in two late free-kicks in Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier against Scotland, forcing a last-ditch Harry Kane equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw.

Southgate would not put the blame on Hart, though, whose club future remains uncertain following a season-long loan at Torino and the player’s own admission he has not received offers away from Manchester City as yet.

“First and foremost they were definitely great free-kicks,” said Southgate when asked about Scotland’s two goals. “Coaching conversations with players have to remain private.

“If I go that route with anybody then I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.

“We’ve had lots of discussions as a team about what we can do better. We have to avoid conceding free-kicks in dangerous areas.

Highlights from a dramatic Group F World Cup Qualifier between Scotland and England at Hampden Park

“It was never my intention to play Joe (Hart) in this game. Tom Heaton has had an outstanding season and we’ve got to make sure people feel involved.

“You need to give people game time; in the past one or two goalkeepers have given up international football because they haven’t had the chance.

“Jack (Butland) is coming back from an injury and he has been our No 2. We think he can challenge for the number one spot going forward.”

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