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Hodgson: Hart will not start against Chile

ESPN staff
November 14, 2013 « Pepe: FIFA favour Messi over Ronaldo | Chartbeat test »
Should Hart still be England's No 1?

England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will not play in Friday night's international against Chile at Wembley, but he would not confirm who would replace his out-of-form first choice keeper.

Norwich's John Ruddy and Celtic's Fraser Forster are battling to secure a starting spot against the South American visitors, with Hodgson hinting that Hart will return to his side for the high profile game against Germany at Wembley next Tuesday.

"Joe Hart won't be starting the game [against Chile], but you will have to work out which of the other two will start," stated Hodgson, who confirmed he is considering giving game time to both Ruddy and Forster.

"I haven't spoken to the players about the team and until I do that, I don't want to get drawn any more on my team selection or formation. It's nice to have such good players to choose from.

"I've been lucky enough work with them [Ruddy and Forster] for a period of time. John was with us from the start [of his time in charge of England], but he broke his finger before we went to the Euros [last summer], so I've had quite a lot of time with him.

"We've had Fraser with us for a year and I know quite a lot about him, but I will make the decision whether to choose one or use both and I'm afraid you will have to wait to see what that decision is."

Hodgson suggested his eagerness to give players a chance to impress him is more significant than results in the friendly internationals against Chile and Germany in the coming days, as he insisted protecting his side's 10-game unbeaten run is not his priority at this stage of his preparations for next summer's World Cup finals.

"I think I have to put performances ahead of protecting our unbeaten run because in these next two games, I need to look at players who are knocking heavily on the door to get their chance," he said.

"There are only these two matches and the one in March for me to do that, so I can't dismiss the need to give some playing time to people. It's important to win games and keep the unbeaten run going, but I won't do that if it's going to be at the detriment of looking at one or two players.

"I need to be wiser in March with respect to one or two players than I am now and that's what I am focusing on."

Hodgson was evasive when pressed on his possible team for the game at Wembley on Friday, but he did confirm that the in-form Southampton duo of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez would play in the game against Chile.

"I have spoken to the Southampton boys [Lallana and Rodriguez] and let them know that they will be involved," added the England boss, who confirmed their Southampton colleague Rickie Lambert has joined Steven Gerrard and Kyle Walker on the absentee list for the Chile game after picking up a 'minor' injury in training.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is also a major doubt for Friday's game after failing to take part in full training this week, but Hodgson is confident that he will be fit for the visit of Germany next week.

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