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Butland deserves England start – Hughes

Jack Butland deserves to be England's number one ahead of Joe Hart, according to Stoke City manager Mark Hughes.

Hart started both World Cup qualifiers for Gareth Southgate's side earlier this month, helping England to two wins as they took a step closer to Russia 2018.

Hughes believes Butland, who missed most of last season after ankle surgery, had shown early in the Premier League campaign he was in better form than West Ham's Hart.

"I haven't talked to anybody at England about it," Hughes said of his shot-stopper, via the Stoke Sentinel.

"There's a number of goalkeepers they could have gone with, but in my view it was either Joe or Jack and I thought Jack clearly presented a really strong case to be picked.

"You understand to a certain extent that Gareth would want to be loyal, but sometimes you have to deal with the here and now rather than what’s gone on in the past.

"But if you are in the business of winning games, you have to go with the guy in form.

"He [Hart] is probably a strong influence in the dressing room and so it's not just about form, but on purely form Jack had a really good claim in my view."