Butland happy to play through pain barrier for England

Wednesday 02 Sep 2015
Butland has been capped at U16, U17, U19, U20, U21 and Senior level

Jack Butland is desperate to prove he’s up to the challenge of putting pressure on England No.1 Joe Hart – so much so he’s willing to play through the pain of a broken finger.

Butland has impressed so far this season after replacing Asmir Begovic as Stoke’s first-choice goalkeeper and is now looking to make his mark on the senior international stage.

The 22-year-old has one cap to his name, earned three years ago in a friendly against Italy, while he also travelled with the squad to Euro 2012 where he did not feature.

San Marino v England

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
5pm, Saturday 5 September
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle
Live on ITV 1

Yet, after captaining England Under-21s at this summer's European Championships, Butland believes he is now ready and experienced enough to battle with 28-year-old Hart for the No.1 jersey.

And the former Birmingham City stopper insists a broken finger in his right hand, which he sustained before Stoke’s clash with Norwich on 22 August, won’t stop him from trying to earn a call-up in either of the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland.

“When the injury happened it was one we discussed and one we felt we could manage, it’s not caused me any problems since,” said Butland.

“I’ve played two Premier League games since then and been able to perform at 100 per cent in training as well. There’s nothing that would have been able to stop me [coming and playing for England].”

Despite the disappointment suffered this summer in the Czech Republic, where England Under-21s finished bottom of Group B, Butland insists he learnt a lot from the experience.

And the Bristol-born keeper says Gareth Southgate’s troops have every chance of making amends, starting with their first Euro 2017 qualifier next Monday against Norway in Drammen.

“It’s always difficult to deal with a loss at tournaments, but if you’re not learning anything from it as a player or a person then it is two years wasted,” added Butland. “It’s something I’ve thought a lot about over the summer and learnt a lot from.

“I feel in top form now and I’m happy to be back in the [senior] squad, I don’t want to be here just to make up the numbers. Joe [Hart] is an incredible keeper who has established himself for a long time, but I want to put pressure on him and get some game time of my own.

“I’m 100 per cent confident [England Under-21s] can qualify. The players that have gone before in the Under-21s are established in the Premier League and brilliant players, so I’m sure they can rub off some of their experience to those who may be a little bit quieter.”