Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has said that he is 'gutted' to miss out on England's World Cup squad, admitting that it is 'hard to take'.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate opted to leave Hart out of his 23-man group, instead opting to take Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope.
The 31-year-old would have been the experienced option of the three, making 75 appearances since his debut in 2008.
It has been a season to largely forget for Hart. According to Opta, he has made four errors leading to goals in just 18 league games this season, averaging one every 4.5 games.
Butland on the other hand, has made just one in 31 Premier League games. Pickford has failed to make a single costly error in 34 games, with Ben Foster, Nick Pope and Tom Heaton all on the same number.
Speaking on his Instagram page, Hart wrote: "Not going to lie, I’m gutted. After 2 years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take.
"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. I know what I bring to the team, but it is what it is.
To start England's first World Cup game (odds via Sky Bet)
- Jordan Pickford - 1/4
- Jack Butland - 10/3
- Nick Pope - 10/1
"Good luck to the team out there, 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.
"No fear, go and smash it."
Despite his World Cup absence, Southgate has admitted that it is far from the end for Hart and the national side.
Speaking at his press conference, Southgate said: "of course it was a difficult call. He played in most of our qualifying matches, he's been a big part of the England team the last few years and he's a valued member of the squad.
"But in the end I've got to look at performances over the last 18 months with their clubs and the three lads we picked were the three best goalkeepers in the league this year."
Asked about Hart's future prospects, he added: "I pick players on form and if he's playing well for his club, why wouldn't we select him?
"There's no reason for this to be the end. He has an important career decision this summer and I hope he can be back at his very best."
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Odds correct at 0935 BST (18/05/18)