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Butland ready to challenge Hart for England gloves

Joe Hart is an “immovable object” according to England team-mate Jack Butland, but the back-up goalkeeper has vowed to fight to be the nation’s number one.

Butland earned just his second England cap against Lithuania in Monday’s final Euro 2016 qualifier.

It was Butland’s first appearance for England since making his debut three years ago and the 22-year-old is determined to establish himself in the international fold, even if he is up against Hart.

“I am not someone who enjoys being on the bench. I won’t kick up a fuss and I will always be a team man, but ultimately I want to play,” Butland said.

“Joe is a fantastic keeper, rightly he is the No 1, established in the Premier League, over 50 England caps – he is almost an immovable object.

“But I want to play and there’s nothing wrong with competition. Joe drives me on. We’re always encouraging each other and I know I improve when I come away with England.

“It’s been three years since my first cap in 2012 and I hope it’s another three years before my next one.”

Butland added: “You never know what may happen with injuries and suspensions. I want to be ready. I am in a good place mentally¬†with Stoke, with England. If I am put in, I feel comfortable and in control.

“I’d love to get a couple more games in the friendlies and will do everything I can to get those.

“The last time I played for England I was at Birmingham and I’d been at loan on Cheltenham, then got drafted into the Euros squad as potential. I hadn’t proven myself but I feel I’ve had a whole career since then.

“Now I’ve played a hell of a lot of games, improved and matured a lot. I am enjoying the opportunity to play in the Premier League. I feel positive, strong, fit and sharp.

“There’s a couple of great goalkeepers injured in Fraser Forster and Ben Foster but I am confident that if I can keep playing well for Stoke then I will be on that plane to France.”

Wed 14 Oct, 2015
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