Hart replaced for France friendly

Tom Heaton and Jack Butland will play a half each in England’s friendly against France despite Gareth Southgate backing Joe Hart.

The Manchester City keeper, who spent last season on loan at Torino, played against Scotland at the weekend and conceded two goals from free kicks, receiving criticism from some quarters.

The England boss deflected him from that and insisted that he always planned to use Heaton and Butland in Paris on Turesday.

At a press conference ahead of the international friendly, Southgate said: “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.

Tom Heaton has had an outstanding season and we’ve got to make sure people feel involved.

Gareth Southgate

“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.”

Southgate added that both goals at Hampden Park had been great free kicks and they had discussed trying to avoid conceding them in dangerous areas rather than blaming anyone for the two on Saturday, both scored by Leigh Griffiths.

Harry Kane equalised for England in that game, deep into injury time and Southgate confirmed that the Tottenham striker would once again captain the side for the game in France.

Hart has made 71 appearances for his country but says he is yet to receive any offers for next season. He is not expected to stay at Manchester City, especially as Pep Guardiola has just bought Ederson Moraes for £35m from Benfica.


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