Jack Butland has insisted he can challenge Joe Hart for the England No 1 spot as he prepares to face world champions Germany in the absence of the injured Manchester City goalkeeper.
Butland, who made his senior debut at the age of 19 against Italy in August 2012, is expected to win only his fourth cap against the Germans in Berlin on Saturday, with the Stoke City keeper edging ahead of Southampton’s Fraser Forster in the battle to become Roy Hodgson’s second choice.
While Hart will travel to Euro 2016 as Hodgson’s first choice, Butland’s impressive campaign for Stoke has underlined the 23-year-old’s progress in recent months.
And, with Hart ruled out of the friendlies against Germany and Holland with a calf injury sustained against Manchester United on Sunday, Butland believes he is ready to push the 28-year-old for the honour of claiming the No 1 jersey.
“That’s the bracket I want to be in,” Butland said. “But then Fraser has come back and kept six clean sheets at Southampton, so you think ‘Here we go!’
“But that is what we are about. It is great to see the others performing so well and being part of a squad that is so competitive. It is an environment we thrive in and hopefully it can enable us to close the gap on Joe.
“I spoke to him [Hart] and obviously wished him well. I was kind of hoping I was bridging the gap anyway, but now he is not here it is a little bit different.
“Joe has taken the spot and had it for so long, but the likes of myself and Fraser pick up opportunities whenever we can. Ultimately, that is what we prepare ourselves for when we come away.”
Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand will miss the friendly after returning to his club for further treatment on an injury he suffered against Liverpool on Sunday. No replacement will be called up.Reuse content