Lambert backing Jack Butland for England

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Stoke City manager Paul Lambert believes that goalkeeper Jack Butland is ready to assume the role as England’s first choice ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Speaking before Monday’s match at home to Manchester City, the Scot gave his stopper the vote of confidence.

“I wouldn’t have any fear about him playing,” he said.

“I can only speak from my side and what I’ve seen and I know England have got good goalkeepers also, but Jack’s been brilliant for me.”

With Joe Hart losing his starting place at West Ham in recent weeks and an injury to Burnley’s Tom Heaton, the opportunity is there for Butland to take. However, he faces firm competition from Jordan Pickford at Everton and Heaton’s deputy, Nick Pope.

“Since I’ve been here, he’s made only one mistake really against Leicester,” Lambert added.

“But his performances have been exceptional so I wouldn’t have any fear if somebody said to me Jack Butland would start at the World Cup.

“If you’re asking me if I think he could handle everything that’s thrown at him, yes.”

The manager was also eager to praise the way in which Butland has reacted following his mistake at the King Power Stadium.

“He’s been brilliant. Even after the mistake at Leicester, he made two fantastic saves, so I don’t have a problem with his mindset or recovering from any mistake.”

England’s next fixtures are later this month, as they travel to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands on Friday March 23rd, before welcoming Italy to Wembley on Tuesday 27th.

Click below to watch StaffsLive’s coverage of Paul Lambert’s press conference ahead of Monday’s match against Manchester City.

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