Preston North End 3-1 Stoke City: Jack Butland makes two errors in Potters loss
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Stoke City boss Nathan Jones says “there must be something on the mind” of goalkeeper Jack Butland after his error-strewn display in the Potters’ defeat at Preston North End.
The hosts were 2-0 up inside 25 minutes at Deepdale, with both goals stemming from mistakes by the 26-year-old England keeper.
Daniel Johnson put Preston in front with a low, scuffed strike from the edge of the box which Butland failed to turn around the post.
He was again at fault for North End’s second, allowing Billy Bodin’s shot from outside the area to slide under him.
“No one talks about him as being a Stoke goalkeeper,” Jones told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Everyone talks about him losing his place in the England side or that he’s got to go abroad or leave Stoke to gain this or that.
“But he’s got to do his job for Stoke first. I don’t know where he must be mentally because there’s so much talk about him, but realistically we all have to do our job for Stoke.
“You don’t go from being a top goalkeeper to making errors like he is at the minute. There must be something playing on his mind.”
Preston scored a third goal after half-time when Josh Harrop struck after Butland parried Johnson’s shot from a tight angle, before James McClean fired in a consolation for Stoke.
The result leaves Stoke bottom of the Championship and means Jones has won just four of his 26 competitive games in charge, with promotion-chasing Leeds United their next opponents.
The Potters, who have struggled to gain a foothold in the second tier since their relegation from the Premier League in 2017-18, have now gone 10 league games without a win.
“Since I’ve come here there’s been a hangover of players wanting to leave, players thinking they are proper players, players wanting to go and play in Europe, players thinking of their international careers,” added Jones, who replaced Gary Rowett in January.
“There hasn’t been a group here together who want to play and focus and win games for Stoke City, that’s a problem. I thought we had made big strides in that, but evidently we haven’t.”
Preston moved up to 10th having continued their 100% home record, although it has been confirmed that they will be without forward Louis Moult for the rest of the campaign.
North End boss Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire that Moult, injured in Saturday’s loss at Swansea City, had sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury.
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