Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland targets England return

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland

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Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is targeting a return to the England squad following his fine start to the Premier League season.

The 22-year-old was installed as number one at the Britannia Stadium at the start of the campaign following the departure of Asmir Begovic to Chelsea in the summer and he has impressed during the opening three matches of the season.

The former Birmingham player admitted it would be the ultimate honour to represent the Three Lions and he is pleased his name has been linked with a return to Roy Hodgson’s squad.

He said: “For me, playing for my country is the ultimate honour, and I’ve been fortunate enough to do that through many of the age groups.

“To be linked with being back in the senior squad and the prospect of being there is just adding confidence and is an incentive for me to keep on improving and working hard.”

The stopper was part of the England squad for the European Championships in 2012, but his only full international appearance to date came in a friendly against Italy just after that tournament.

The youngster confirmed he is keen to test himself against the world’s best and he feels he can do just that if he can force his way into the international reckoning on a regular basis.

He added: “That’s where I want to get to. I want to test myself, playing with the best and against the best. I can do that at international level, so that’s my target and what I want to reach.”

Butland knows he must continue to perform well for Stoke to remain in Hodgson’s thinking with the Potters currently available at 11.00 to be relegated at the end of the season.

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