Gareth Southgate Confirms Joe Hart Will Be Dropped For England

Jonathan Hernandez
October 8, 2017

The West Ham goalkeeper had starred in a goalless draw at Slovenia previous year and he was similarly influential in the return fixture as Harry Kane's goal secured a 1-0 win and a place at the finals in Russian Federation.

They now turn their attention to an away trip to Lithuania tomorrow, however the pressure is now off having wrapped up qualification.

Gareth Southgate has already admitted that he intends to use the final World Cup qualifier as a chance to experiment and the likes of Daneil Sturridge, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard will be hoping to get a chance to impress.

But which players does Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believe should be on the plane to Russian Federation? "It's a good opportunity for Jack".

While this did not feel like a particularly positive occasion, Southgate deserves credit for taking the reins in hard circumstances following Sam Allardyce's exit and steering England to the World Cup with a game to spare.

"We are getting to know each other more and more, every time we are together".

"When you've got someone scoring goals it helps and hopefully I can continue that from now until then, we'll see what happens".

Jordan Pickford, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, who is now injured, will all be competing for places in Southgate's squad.

Southgate is also likely to experiment with his tactics as he looks to develop a system capable of aiding England's chances in Russian Federation.

"I think what the team have been through over 18 months, and as a young team with what they have to deal with in terms of expectation, criticism of their performances, it's tough for them", he said.

"It is a results business but the way I want to play is to entertain as well".

"We are a country that has high expectations and you have to keep delivering", Southgate said. Azerbaijan, who have won only three of their nine games and lie fifth in the group, are not expected to cause them any problems.

"But they will give everything they've got for the shirt and they are going to improve over the next few years".

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