England aiming to win knockout games – Butland

Stoke City

Stoke keeper Jack Butland says the England squad expect to get out of the group stages and want to win some World Cup knock-out games.

Butland returned to the Three Lions’ line-up on Sunday as Gareth Southgate’s men won 1-0 in Lithuania to finish their qualification group with 26 points from 10 matches.

The Potters star says England are looking forward to the finals in Russia and intend to do much better than their sorry showing in Brazil three years ago.

He said: “There is an awful amount of credit the boys deserve for achieving this but we don’t leave it at that – we need to build on it, and keep growing and making sure that come the tournament next year we are firing on all cylinders.

“We have do better than we have before – we expect to get out of the group.

“We want to win some knock-out games and we really want to push it.

“Come the World Cup if we are playing well, people will be putting us up there with the top boys.”

Butland admitted England wanted to finish off on a high after turning in a dismal display at Wembley last Thursday, but they just couldn’t turn their dominance into goals in Kaunas.

“We wanted to score more goals and sign off with a really good win but we finished off with another three points, which is 26 points in the group,” he added.

“We have one of the best defensive records in qualifying and that’s something we are proud of.

“Obviously we would have wanted the performance to be better, but on a pitch like that you are limited in the way you can play. We were pleased with the win but know we can do better.”