01.09.2016 17:32 h

England call up McCarthy after Forster blow

England called up uncapped goalkeeper Alex McCarthy on Thursday after his Southampton team-mate Fraser Forster was ruled out of Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.

McCarthy joins Sam Allardyce's first England squad after Forster suffered an arm injury.

Forster had been expected to challenge Joe Hart for the England goalkeeper's jersey following the latter's exile at Manchester City this season and subsequent loan move to Italian club Torino.

But in Forster's absence, Hart will now be firm favourite to start against Slovakia.

Burnley's Tom Heaton was the third goalkeeper in his original squad and has a single brief substitute appearance to his name.

McCarthy, 26, has played three times for England Under-21s and received his first senior call-up for the friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil in 2013.

McCarthy's last full season as a first-choice goalkeeper was in 2013-14 at Reading and he has since played supporting roles at QPR and Crystal Palace.

He moved to Southampton as deputy to Forster earlier this year, but has yet to feature for Claude Puel's team this term.