Stoke keeper Jack Butland: England U21s are ready for the Euro Finals

Jack Butland Team GB

England Under-21s captain Jack Butland says the squad are “ready to go” for the Euro Finals after meeting up at St. George’s Park this week.

Gareth Southgate named his final 23-man squad for this summer’s European U-21 Championship tournament in Czech Republic on Tuesday and Jack Butland was among the initial 19 players to report.

England face Portugal in their first group game on June 18 and Stoke City goalkeeper Butland cannot wait for it all to begin.

"We’re ready to go," Butland told the official FA website.

"It’s been a long campaign and we’ve had a lot of success and good times together along the way.

"It seems a long time since our last qualifying game in October, so now everyone’s here and really excited to be together and cracking on in a great tournament."

The Three Lions will also face Italy and Sweden in the group stage at the Euros and are hopeful of going deep into the competition.

Preparations are currently underway for the tournament and those involved are already working on the different opposition styles they can expect to come up against.

Butland, though, believes there is more than enough talent in Southgate’s squad to deal with anything thrown at them.

"All three of our group games are going to be completely different," he explained.

"We know the way we want to play, but we’ll face three styles of play in that group stage and it’s about preparing properly and understanding what you’re going to face to be able to break them down.

"Firstly, we’ll get our defensive duties right and we’ve been fantastic at that over the last two years so once we get that right, it allows us to express ourselves going the other way.

"The same 11 won’t play every game, and there’ll be knocks that players might pick up, so the manager will rest and rotate.

"But we’ve got the squad and ability to do that and that’s what tournament football is all about, taking each game as it comes and keeping fit and ready for the challenge.

"It [European Championship] finishes really quickly, from the first game to the final, so you’ve got to manage yourselves correctly and keep calm and believing you can win it."

Stoke City, where Butland plays second choice to Asmir Begovic, finished ninth in the Premier League this season. The only way in which the England U21 goalkeeper stands a chance in becoming number one at the Britannia Stadium is if the club fail to keep hold of their main man between the sticks.

Butland has previously spent time on loan at Birmingham City, Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County.

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