Butland confident of qualification

  • Last Updated: October 13 2012, 13:06 BST

England Under-21s goalkeeper Jack Butland believes the victory over Serbia was a "job well done" and stands the team in good stead for the return leg of the Euro 2013 play-off.

Jack Butland: Delighted with clean sheet

Stuart Pearce's side secured a deserved 1-0 victory in Norwich on Friday night courtesy of Craig Dawson's second-half penalty.

The goal was the West Brom defender's fifth in nine appearances for the Young Lions, but an arguably more impressive statistic was that it was the Under-21 side's seventh clean sheet in nine Euro 2013 qualifying matches.

Butland, back in the number one jersey after being involved with Roy Hodgson's senior team, believes such defensive solidity bodes well for Tuesday's second leg in Krusevac.

"We got a clean sheet, which we needed to do," the Birmingham goalkeeper said. "If they had got an away goal, we would have to go and score at their place.

"We're a goal up, they've not got an away goal so it is a job well done.

"We know now that if we don't concede over the two legs then we're through.

"We know we're very strong as a team defensively and also have great ability to attack as well.

"We can keep clean sheets, we can score goals and we can win."

While England defended well, their inability to find the net became an increasing concern as the match wore on.

Butland admits the trip to Serbia would be a "lot, lot easier" if his team-mates could have added to Dawson's spot-kick, but is not overly concerned.

"It is not a problem at all," he said. "We create chances and it would be more worrying if we didn't create chances at all.

"We created a lot and on another day they go in. The keeper pulled off a great save from Caulks' (Steven Caulker) header and it could have been a lot more.

"The important thing is we got the job done, got a clean sheet and we have a goal to take to Serbia.

"We know it will be a completely different game.

"You could see they were very physical and it is going to be the same over there.

"They are going to have a crowd behind them and it is potentially going to be very hostile.

"We're just going to go over there and try and implement the same sort of performance we did [in the first leg]. If we do that, we'll score goals."

Serbia captain Slobodan Medojevic is just as confident as the England goalkeeper when it comes to his own side's chances.

The White Eagles came through qualifying Group Four unbeaten and are determined to overcome the one-goal deficit on home turf.

"We have confidence," Wolfsburg defender Medojevic said. "We try will to do our best to create more chances than we did and score goals.

"I think we are a really good team. We did not have any losses in our qualification group and that was our first defeat.

"I hope we will produce a better game than what was a good performance as we can do better. I know that.

"We will do our best to go through. I think we can do that.

"The stadium is one which I think can hold 10,000 fans and it will be full.

"Serbian fans are different to English fans. I think England can expect a really noisy atmosphere and I think they need to be prepared for that.

"It is quite intimidating. A lot of fans last week bought tickets so we expect a really, really good atmosphere at our home."


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