SPORTS NEWS

Gutted Hart says World Cup snub a difficult pill to swallow

London, May 18: Goalkeeper Joe Hart on Friday said he is gutted after being left out of England’s squad for next month’s World Cup in Russia, adding he knows what he brings to the team and the snub is a hard pill to swallow. “Not going to lie, I’m gutted. I know what I bring to the team, but it is what it is,” Hart wrote on Instagram.

Hart was left out of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad. The West Ham United goalkeeper was England’s first choice under the bar at the past three major tournaments.

“After two years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take,” Hart added.

“I’m proud to have put in the graft and play every minute to qualify with the team and have a really important input in that outcome. The players know that even though I won’t be there, I will have my England shirt on as a fan this time and supporting all the way.”

Hart, 31, has 75 caps for England but in recent times has endured a a difficult period at club level, first falling out of favour at Manchester City before conceding 39 goals in 19 Premier League games on loan at West Ham this season. Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere — another surprise exclusion — said on Thursday he “could have made a real impact” after he was also left out.

On Thursday, Southgate said it was a “difficult decision” not to select Hart but there was “no reason” it should mark the end of his international career. IANS