Premier League: Stoke City boss Mark Hughes unconcerned by World Cup

Last Updated: 11/01/14 11:16am

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Stoke manager Mark Hughes insists Jack Butland's World Cup ambitions will not affect his team selection.

The 20-year-old began the season as third-choice keeper at the Britannia Stadium and spent a period on loan at Championship strugglers Barnsley.

He has since been thrust into the spotlight at Stoke though, with Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen out injured.

Butland featured in the New Year's day draw with Everton, where he replaced Sorensen at half-time, as well as the FA Cup third round victory over Leicester.

But with Sorensen closing on return to action, Butland may be forced to drop to the bench once again.

That may adversely affect his chances of making Roy Hodgson's squad for this year's World Cup in Brazil but Hughes remains unapologetic.

"My intention is to make the right decisions for Stoke City - the World Cup doesn't come into my thinking," said Hughes.

"Jack understands and accepts that - I'll always do my best for Stoke first and foremost.

"And so will Jack, although he has ambitions to go to the World Cup, he knows he has to establish himself at this level."

Butland, who has played once for England as well as representing Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, has impressed during his two appearances for the Potters and Hughes has offered his support.

"I have no worries about Jack - given how he acquitted himself when he came on at half-time for Thomas against Everton," he added.

"He showed a lot of confidence and presence in the box, and against Leicester in the FA Cup what he had to do, he did really well."

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