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By ESPN Staff

Hart, Wheater fly out for Belarus duty

Joe Hart and David Wheater have been called into the England senior squad for Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier with Belarus.

The pair flew straight to Minsk along with coach Stuart Pearce immediately after helping the England Under-21 side reach next summer's European Championship finals in Sweden after a thrilling 2-2 draw with Wales took them through 5-4 on aggregate. Gabriel Agbonlahor would have travelled but misses out with a hamstring strain.

Pearce had offered to pull all three out of tonight's game but coach Franco Baldini refused.

"Franco just said definitely not, the game was too important," said Pearce.

"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."

Pearce revealed he had spoken to Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate, whose player must now travel to eastern Europe, then get himself ready for a Saturday lunchtime encounter with Chelsea.

"Joe is not a problem as he will not play until Monday,"" said Pearce.

"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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