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Hughes wants Butland to rest

first_imgStoke manager Mark Hughes believes Jack Butland is better off resting his injured finger than risking further problems by joining up with the England squad for shooting practice next month. England Under-21 international Butland is expected to be called to the senior squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland. Hughes, though, would rather Butland – whose only full England cap came for the first half of a 2012 friendly against Italy – spend the time productively with the Stoke coaching and medical staff. “Jack has got to be careful with it. There is an international window coming up and it’s a good time to let the injury settle down,” said Hughes. “At the moment he is due to be very sore for a number of weeks, so he needs to keep out of training sessions where balls are getting blasted at him.” Asked if that is what he would tell England manager Roy Hodgson, Hughes simply replied: “Yes”. Stoke gave a debut to £12million signing Xherdan Shaqiri at Carrow Road, the Swiss midfielder setting up Mame Diouf for an early opening goal with a well-delivered free-kick. Hughes confirmed he wanted winger Jonathan Walters to stay at the club, despite interest from Norwich on the eve of Saturday’s match. The 31-year-old has been recovering from illness this week, but has yet to commit to a new contract. The 22-year-old produced a man-of-the-match display to help earn a 1-1 draw at Norwich on Saturday. Afterwards, Hughes revealed Butland had suffered a fracture around his knuckle while training on Thursday, but after treatment was able to play through the pain barrier. Hughes said: “Norwich did make a bid, but it was nowhere near our valuation. “That (coming so close to the match) was probably a bit of mischief. “But it happens, I have probably been guilty of it myself in the past, so I am not going to be holier than thou and criticise Norwich for that. “It was predictable really that it was going to come out, so we haven’t got a problem.” Hughes added: “Jonathan wants a little bit more in terms of the lengths of a new contract, but we are hopeful we can come to an agreement. “But if we don’t, then we will probably keep him and let his contract run down.” Sections of the Norwich crowd made it clear of their feelings towards the former Ipswich man, who remains a target for Canaries manager Alex Neil. Hughes said: “Wherever Jonathan has gone he has affected people’s perceptions of him and that wouldn’t be an issue for him.” Press Associationlast_img read more