Butland heaps praise on Stoke No.1 Begovic

The 20-year-old has hailed the skills of the Bosnian keeper, and knows he will have to be at his best to displace him as first-choice at the Britannia Stadium next season
Stoke new-boy Jack Butland has revealed his admiration for team-mate Asmir Begovic as he looks forward to his first full season with the Potters.

England under-21 stopper Butland has spent all of the current campaign with Championship side Birmingham City, re-joining the Blues on loan after agreeing to move to the Britannia Stadium in January.

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But while the 20-year-old is hoping to continue his development with Tony Pulis' side next term, he knows ousting Begovic as the club's No.1 will be difficult.

He told ESPN: "His shot-stopping, decision-making and presence have been solid all season. That is why there has been so much talk about him.

"I feel very lucky to be here and to have the chance to come in and train a couple of days a week. That's helping me feel part of the team.

"We felt it [going back to Birmingham] was the right thing to continue my development. It works out well for all sides and was the sensible option."

Butland was disappointed to see his parent club fall to a last minute defeat at Newcastle last weekend, but was quick to stress his faith in Pulis' charges to bounce back and ensure their place in the top flight.

He added: "I felt for them when I heard the result. It was just unfortunate to concede so late on.

"The lads have been fantastic defensively this year and they will put what happened to the back of their minds."