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​Hughes lobbies for Stoke keeper Butland to be England first choice

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has again said that keeper Jack Butland should be England's number one.

"It's not my decision, it's a decision for Gareth Southgate (but) if there was a decision to be made, or if Gareth was thinking of making a decision, then my view is he's the natural keeper to go with," Hughes said of Butland.

"But given that Joe (Hart) was picked in the previous two qualifiers I would think that would send a message to everybody that the likelihood is Joe Hart – who is a very accomplished keeper as well, I have to say – is more likely to keep his place.

"If Jack is called upon he will be ready, both physically and mentally. He's ready for that role if it's presented to him.

"It has to be on form as well, I think Jack's playing well. Every manager will have a number of factors they have to think about in terms of the dynamic of the group and trust and loyalty to players that have done well for them in the past. All those things come into a manager's mind when they have to make a big decision. I'll leave it to Gareth.

"Jack loves being part of the England set-up. He wants to be the number one, he's been quoted on the record as saying that. He's an ambitious guy and wants to get to the top of the game.

"That mindset's not going to change, in fact it will become more ingrained I would think leading towards the (World Cup) tournament itself.

"Clearly Jack knows he has to have an outstanding season for us to make sure he travels with them and he pushes the guy in charge and wearing the shirt at the moment."


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