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Hart dropped for France friendly as Southgate opts for Butland AND Heaton

Date Posted,June 12, 2017

Joe Hart has been taken out of the firing line for England‘s game against France tomorrow night, with Tom Heaton starting in his place.

The Manchester City keeper, who already faces an uncertain future at club level, was beaten by two late Leigh Griffiths free-kicks as Scotland roared back from a goal down on Saturday to lead 2-1.

Hart, 30, was widely criticised for his positioning and had skipper Harry Kane’s last-gasp equaliser to thank for saving his blushes as the Three Lions rescued a point from the World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park.

England goalkeepers Joe Hart, Fraser Forster and Jack Butland during training (Photo: Rex Features)
Jack Butland during training (Photo: Rex Features)
Joe Hart during the training session at St George’s Park (Photo: PA)
England’s Jack Butland and Joe Hart (Photo: PA)

But Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate insists he had always planned to give Burnley’s Heaton and Stoke keeper Jack Butland, who will start the second half, game time in the friendly against Les Bleus at Stade de France.

He said: “It was never my intention to play Joe in this game. Tom 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 is coming back from an injury and he has been our No2. We think he can challenge for the No1 spot going forward.”

England manager Gareth Southgate (Photo: PA)
England’s Harry Kane (Photo: PA)
England players during the training session (Photo: PA)

Refusing to blame his No1 for the disappointment in Scotland, Southgate added: “First and foremost they were definitely great free-kicks.

“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.

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“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.”

Kane, 23, will wear the captain’s armband once again after leading his country for the first time against the Scots.

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