Southampton's James Ward-Prowse says he's learnt a lot from Stoke City stopper Jack Butland

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse has taken over as England under-21 captain from Jack Butland.

Southampton youngster James Ward-Prowse has told the FA's official website that he has learnt a lot from Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Ward-Prowse was recently announced as captain of England's under-21 side, inheriting the armband from Butland, and says he has taken a lot of his predecessor's methods on board.

The attacking midfielder admits that Butland was a great leader of the group, and he is looking to ensure that the atmosphere remains a positive one under his guidance.

"England U21s is a comfortable environment and it’s one where you should be able to relax in and play your best football," he said. 

"You need to have that spirit and as captain, I’ve been speaking to the manager about the ways that we can increase that.

"Jack Butland was a terrific leader for the group last time and I learnt a lot from him because he was a great leader on and off the pitch."

Butland is no longer eligible for the under-21 side, and is now England's number two goalkeeper behind Joe Hart. 

The Stoke stopper has been in fine form this campaign, after becoming the Potters' first choice between the sticks following Asmir Begovic's move to Chelsea.

Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, has continued to play a prominent role for Southampton, as Ronald Koeman's side have made a decent start to the season.

The attacking midfielder has now played over 100 games for the Saints, and he will hope that experience stands him in good stead for his role leading England's youngsters. 

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