Olympian aims to boost Leeds United at Boro

Goalkeeper Jack Butland in action against Leeds United last season
Goalkeeper Jack Butland in action against Leeds United last season

England under 21 goalkeeper Jack Butland is in line to make his debut for Leeds United at Middlesbrough tomorrow after completing his loan move from Stoke City.

Great Britain’s keeper from the Olympics agreed a deal with the Whites earlier in the week, but it was only confirmed today to allow him to stay at Elland Road through the end of the Championships play-offs, should Leeds make it into the top six.

Butland spent three months on loan with Barnsley and returned to Stoke in January, where he made two Premier League starts after regular first-choice Asmir Begovic suffered a broken finger.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes feels the move will be beneficial for the 20-year-old in need of more first team experience.

He said: “Hopefully he can go there, get games and continue his development, because he has had a good year.

“He has been out on loan already, and then played a few Premier League games which was crucial for him.

“Now this opportunity to go to Leeds, where they have a big fanbase and big expectations will be another good step for him.”

Butland is expecting to go straight into the team at Middlesbrough in place of Paddy Kenny, who has not been at his best since picking up an injury round the turn of the year.

Whatever side is selected, Leeds manager Brian McDermott wants United to go on the attack as they get back into action following a week off.

He said: “I’ve asked them to play on the front foot, to play with the ball on the front foot.

“We will try to win games by playing on the front foot in the right way with the right mentality. Let’s just try and get those victories, that is the most important thing.

“If we do that and if the fans can see that they will be happy. That is what we have to be trying to do.

“Sometimes you have to say ‘let’s try and really go for it and get the three points’. That’s got to be our mentality. That has always been my mentality.

“We’ve trained a lot in preparation for the next game against Middlesbrough. It seems an awful long time since we have played so we are looking forward to it.

“They are a good side and they play good football. It is never an easy place to go to, we know that.

“They will try and keep the ball and will try to play as many passes as they can.

“We have got to try and create as many chances as we can and hit the target as many times as we can. We’ll be looking to get lots of crosses into the box as well.”