Butland - England number one

Goalkeeper Jack Butland says England are the "number one" team at the upcoming European Under-21 Championship and is confident of success.

Last Updated: 04/06/13 at 21:20 Post Comment

Jack Butland: Thinks England are the number one team at this summer's Europe

Jack Butland: Thinks England are the number one team at this summer's Europe

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Stuart Pearce's charges go into the tournament in fine form having won their last nine matches in a row without conceding a goal.

Butland has kept seven of those clean sheets, with his international and domestic form earning him a move to Premier League side Stoke City in January as well as a cap for the senior side.

After a week acclimatising to the summer heat in Turkey the squad have arrived in Israel ahead of their opening group match against Italy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

When asked about England's hopes at the tournament, a confident Butland thinks they are good enough to go all the way.

"We're number one," he told Sky Sports News. "We put ourselves as number one, we feel very confident in our own ability to go and play teams and play very well.

"So there's no doubt that we're confident in our chances and that's how we will go into the tournament.

"A number of the lads have been to the Euros before like Jordan Henderson and Danny Rose so we've plenty of experience. I've had the opportunity to experience the [senior] Euros last summer which was fantastic for me and that experience should come together well and put us in good stead."

Butland puts his confidence in the side down to their solid defensive record, while also highlighting the threat of Manchester United new boy Wilfried Zaha upfront.

"We feel very good defensively, we've shown that no matter what side we have played," he added.

"Throughout the whole campaign we have been solid defensively from the front right through the team, so we're very confident in our defensive ability and that gives us the opportunity to go forward as well.

"He's [Zaha] massive; you saw in the play-off final just what he can do, picking up the man-of-the-match award and he played extremely well.

"He has done all season for Crystal Palace which has got him a move to a massive club like Man United.

"Without doubt he's a fantastic player and a massive part for us during this tournament."

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