Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has thanked former Potters manager Mark Hughes for giving him his ‘big break’ in the Premier League, and says he hopes the Welshman can keep the Saints up – just not at Stoke’s expense.
Speaking to StaffsLive at Burntwood Primary School, where he was promoting the upcoming under-17 European Championships on home soil, Butland said he owed a lot to the new Southampton boss.
“Mark Hughes is the man who gave me my big break in the Premier League,” he said. “Obviously I owe a lot to him. I enjoyed working under him and I wish him well.
“It was sad to see him leave Stoke but unfortunately that’s the way the game is. I wish him all the best at Southampton and hopefully they can find their way out, but most importantly we want to get out of there first.
“I suppose it would be a fitting end from all the fans’ and players’ perspectives if both clubs could avoid relegation. Our only goal right now is to stay in the Premier League.
Butland won the under-17 Euros with England back in 2010, and says it is a great honour to be working with the FA to promote the competition to young fans within the community.
“To win the European Championships at any age is massive, and I’m delighted I was able to do that. Now it’s great to get the chance to represent the current crop of young players and hopefully they can be successful too.”