Hart released from England squad

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Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Roy Hodgson has announced Joe Hart will not travel with the England squad to Scotland – opening the door for either Fraser Forster or Ben Foster to stake their claim to become first-choice goalkeeper.

Hart retained his place for the 3-1 European Championship qualifying win over Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday but the Manchester City man will now be allowed additional time off instead of making the short journey to Glasgow.

Hodgson was full of praise for both Southampton’s Forster and West Brom’s Foster ahead of the Slovenia game, stating his belief that the duo have gone from understudies to competition for Hart’s number-one spot.

It remains unclear which player might get the nod against Scotland but Hodgson stressed that once a new goalkeeper is given a chance they have to be given a string of games.

Hodgson confirmed Hart and Leighton Baines would be the two who left the squad between the two fixtures with the Everton full-back already having departed through injury on Friday.

“Leighton Baines was one but he got released anyway,” he said when asked which players would be rested.

“The other of course is Joe Hart because I have still got the other two goalkeepers and they will come with us up to Scotland and one of those will play – Joe will go home.

“They are the only ones, obviously we have got players that I would like to see so there is a potential for me to change things but it is not going to be a question of sending the bulk of these players home because Scotland is a tough game and we want to go up there with a big team.”

Hart’s position for both club and country had come under threat earlier in the year after a number of high-profile mistakes, but Hodgson was not prepared to throw in Foster or Forster at the time.

“When Joe was under his severest criticism, Ben and Fraser weren’t at the level of form they are now,” he said earlier in the week.

“A goalkeeper can make a mistake in any game and if you replace him on the first mistake, you can make a rod for your own back with the second player.

“But if you think you are going to drop a guy and play someone else, you have to go with that other player for some time. There are so few international games.”

Forster has just two caps to his name to date, the second of which came as a late substitute in a pre-World Cup friendly draw against Honduras.

After a self-imposed England exile, former Manchester United stopper Foster played in the final game of a forgettable World Cup campaign as Hodgson’s side drew 0-0 with Costa Rica.

But both will be hoping to give Hodgson food for thought after he has made a decision on who will line up against Scotland on Tuesday night.

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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