Jack Butland backed to start for Three Lions against Estonia

Wednesday 30 Sep 2015
Stoke City keeper Jack Butland backed to start for England
Jack Butland has been backed to start for England in next month’s Euro 2016 qualifiers - by the man he is keeping out of the Stoke City side.

Goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard is yet to make his Potters debut since joining from FC Midtjylland in the summer, but the Dane has no qualms having seen close-hand the performances his 22-year-old team-mate has produced.

And now he is urging Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson to reward Butland’s efforts between the sticks in the Premier League by naming him in his side to take on Estonia at Wembley on Friday 9 October.

England v Estonia

UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier
7.45pm, Friday 9 October 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE

"Yes, I think he should play," said Haugaard. "I think he deserves that with the way he's been performing at the start of the season.

"It's the manager's decision, but if you have been watching Jack's games it's obvious he should get a game."

Should Hodgson name Butland in his starting 11 in the future, he will be the first Stoke player to start a senior international for England since Mark Chamberlain in 1984.

If former Under-21s captain Butland was to be handed his second cap, then Haugaard has no doubt that the English defence would be in safe hands. 

Stoke City keeper Jakob Haugaard

Stoke City keeper Jakob Haugaard

"He's one of the best in the league, I think you can see that, and he has already saved us some points," he added when speaking to the StokeSentinel.co.uk.

"He's just an amazing shotstopper - you can see that in every aspect of the game.

"He saves shots from distance and shots and headers from close range. He has made all kinds of saves and it just shows he's an amazing goalkeeper.

"If it wasn't for him, it would not have been looking so good for us."

Tickets for England’s clash with Estonia at Wembley Stadium on Friday 9 November are available from £35. Visit TheFA.com/tickets to purchase yours now.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer