Hughes warns Butland to put World Cup ambitions aside and focus on Stoke
Stoke manager Mark Hughes insists he cannot allow Jack Butland's World Cup ambitions to affect his team selection.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper started the season as the Potters' third choice but with Asmir Begovic having broken a finger and Thomas Sorensen suffering an Achilles injury, he made his Premier League debut against Everton on New Year's Day.
He then played 90 minutes in the FA Cup third-round win over Leicester and is in contention to line up against Liverpool on Sunday.
Sorensen has returned to training and may be passed fit for the match, but Butland has done little to warrant being dropped.
Whatever decision Hughes makes, he has no intention of allowing Butland's international prospects to come into the equation.
Joe Hart, Fraser Forster and John Ruddy are the current top trio of England keepers, but a run of games in the top flight could easily see Butland, who earned one cap in 2012, move into contention.
"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."