Goalkeeper speaks about World Cup winner's influence...
JACK BUTLAND hopes he is back on track for next summer’s World Cup after returning to Premier League action last weekend.
The Potters shot-stopper was a surprise inclusion in Mark Hughes’ line-up against Swansea City after missing the previous three games with a broken finger suffered on international duty.
The injury prevented Butland from playing in England’s friendly with Brazil last month and furthering his claim for the hotly-contested number one spot in Russia next summer.
He has a number of admirers on the international stage, none more acclaimed than World Cup winner and Club President Gordon Banks, with the pair forging a close bond and being in regular contact.
"Gordon is amazing. I speak to him every other week nearly,” Butland said.
“He's always got my corner and he's a great person to have on my side. He called me after I broke my finger, we don't have technical chats, we just have a nice chat.
"We've had chats about his England career and we've spoken about the World Cup back then, but he is really eager to know what it's like nowadays and what my routine is like."
"I couldn't really get a word in because he wants to know what we get up to as goalkeepers now in training and everything like that, but maybe next time I can ask him a little bit more about his stuff without him leading the conversation."
He added: "To miss out on playing for your country sucks, then that carried on into missing games for Stoke as well so it's disappointing and not great timing.
“Hopefully I'll have a little bit more luck now going into the rest of the season and hopefully get myself in the squad for the summer.
"Injuries are injuries and touch wood I've never had too many. I never feel like I'm miles away, I'm just doing what I can do and hopefully I'll get the nod."