Jack Butland believes in England's ability and application

Friday 05 Sep 2014
Butland is happy with what he's seen from the Three Lions in training
England Under-21s captain Jack Butland believes a combination of ability, togetherness and mental strength can see the Three Lions complete their Euro qualifiers with two victories this week.

Gareth Southgate’s squad are in Kaunas ahead of Friday’s match with Lithuania before they head on to Moldova next week for their final game of this stage.

And despite having already secured their progress from the group stage of qualification, the Stoke City ‘keeper says England won’t be taking their foot off the pedal as they approach next month’s play-off.

Lithuania U21s v England U21s

UEFA Euro U21 Championship
Group One Qualifier
5pm (BST), Friday 5 September 2014
Dariaus ir Gireno Stadium, Kaunas


"Just because we’ve qualified doesn’t mean we’re not taking it seriously," he said, following Thursday night’s training session at the Dariaus ir Gireno Stadium.

"We’ll be putting out a side that is very strong and we want to play as well as we can.

"We always put pressure on ourselves to perform and we’ll have the play-offs next month which we are preparing for.

"We’re very happy with the squad that we’ve got, as we have players in all areas of the pitch that can defend well but we also have lots of threat through the middle and from wide areas.

"We believe we have strength in all attacking areas and, as a team, we work very hard on the defensive side of things.

"The whole squad buys into that, so we’re very confident in the ability that we have but it all comes down to the mental side of it and making sure we apply ourselves correctly and we’re confident that we can do that."

Watch highlights of last October's win over Lithuania in Ipswich


Many of Southgate’s squad for this trip were in the team which beat Lithuania by 5-0 at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road last October.

But with a home crowd behind them and the chance of springing an upset against the group leaders, Butland knows this will be an altogether different contest.

"Coming away to Lithuania is going to be different, there will be a home crowd and I’m sure that will be an extra motivation for the Lithuanian players," he added.

"It should be an exciting game for them and we’re looking to come here and play in a good atmosphere.

"It will be a good contest and we’re up for the challenge, as I’m sure it will be a much tougher test this time.

"We’re all really excited about the game, it’s been a while since we’ve been together so we’ve had a really good training session tonight and we’re ready for the test on Friday when we’re looking for three points."

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels in Kaunas, Lithuania