Jones hails Butland after England international keeps Derby at bay
Stoke manager Nathan Jones hailed Jack Butland as one of the country’s top goalkeepers after Derby were held 0-0 at Pride Park.
Butland, who is the only Championship player in England’s squad stood between Derby and victory although the point moved Frank Lampard’s team back into the top six.
Derby dominated from the start and Stoke needed Butland at his best to keep them afloat as he made a superb save from Tom Huddlestone before parrying a Harry Wilson header after Duane Holmes struck a post.
Stoke wanted too much time on the ball and Derby hustled them into errors although there were few clear chances for both sides.
Former Derby forward Tom Ince was Stoke’s biggest threat although it was James McClean who headed their best opening against a post in the 79th minute.
Wilson went close to winning it in the 90th minute when his free-kick from the edge of the area clipped the bar, leaving Jones to salute his goalkeeper.
Jones said: “For me, there’s no better keeper in England. I see him every day and I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone but Jack is outstanding.
“The way he goes about his work – he’s a tireless worker – and when called upon he’s been brilliant.
“We’ve kept three clean sheets on the trot and that’s been a team effort but Jack has obviously played his part tonight.
“If you are good enough you get picked (for England) and Jack is good enough, regardless of where he plays. He showed a real commitment to stay at the club and we are delighted to have him, especially tonight.
“I know Gareth (Southgate) very well and he picks the best players and Jack is one hundred per cent in the best three keepers in England.”
Lampard admitted his team should have taken more than a point.
He said: “We played like a top team. You have to give Butland credit and the woodwork credit but we also have to look at ourselves and how clinical we are.
“It’s a bit of a story in parts of the season where we’ve dropped points in good performances and tonight it should be two or three nil, as simple as that.
“We suffocated them in the first half and were so unlucky not to be ahead at half-time. We were the one team trying to win the game. Stoke were trying to stay in the game, and on and off the ball we were fantastic.
“We played like a top team but top teams also put the ball in the net and that’s where we have to accept the fact we are not scoring enough goals.”