MX23RW : Saturday, March 23 05:31:18

Gareth Southgate explains Joe Hart, Ryan Bertrand omissions

Southgate explains Hart, Bertrand omissions
© Offside
England manager Gareth Southgate says that Joe Hart and Ryan Bertrand were "very unfortunate" to miss out on a place in his 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate has admitted that it was difficult leaving Joe Hart and Ryan Bertrand out of England's squad for the 2018 World Cup.

Hart was the big-name absentee from the 23-man group that will travel to Russia next month, being made to pay for his disappointing form at club level.

The Manchester City keeper, who has spent the past couple of seasons on loan at Torino and West Ham United, was used heavily in qualifying and has been the Three Lions' number one in their last two tournament participations.

Southgate has instead opted for Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope, however, while Fabian Delph, Danny Rose and Ashley Young have all been deemed more worthy than Bertrand for a left-back berth.

Asked to explain the decision behind those omissions, Southgate told the Football Association's official website: "Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they're not decisions we took lightly. I could've had easier conversations by keeping them involved.

"With Joe, we've got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season.

"Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it's probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season but I just felt the others were ahead of him.

"Both calls were really tough. They're both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn't an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it's important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia."

England take on Nigeria on June 2 in the first of their World Cup warm-up matches, before facing Costa Rica five days later.


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Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action during the international friendly between England and Germany on November 10, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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