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Hart and Wheater off to Minsk

15 Oct 2008 - 07:47:39

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Middlesbrough central defender David Wheater have joined up with the senior England squad for the World Cup qualifier in Belarus.

The duo flew out to Minsk after helping England's Under21s side edge past Wales to qualify for the European Championship finals in Sweden, but Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor missed out after picking up a hamstring problem.

Under-21s head coach Stuart Pearce spoke with Fabio Capello's assistant, Franco Baldini, before Tuesday evening's game and had offered to pull the trio out of the action.

He confirmed: "Franco just said definitely not, the game was too important.

"Part of my job is to get results, educate them and get them through to the seniors.

"We had planned on taking three of them. They were proud to be asked this morning. Unfortunately Gaby will not be going but the other two are proud to.

"Joe is not a problem as he will not play until Monday, but David Wheater has had a tough game. There is no doubt about that.

"But if I ask a player whether he wants to travel or go back to his club, he would want to be on that jet. They want to be part of the seniors. That is why they work so hard.

"I spoke to Gareth Southgate about it yesterday. They want to play for the seniors. We will try to take care of him the best we can."


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