Gareth Southgate making changes as he looks to get the right tune out of England

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Gareth Southgate has promised changes as England wrap up their World Cup qualifying campaign in Lithuania, with Jack Butland among those with a chance to impress.

With a place in Russia already assured the Stoke goalkeeper will start in place of Joe Hart, who has played every minute of the previous nine qualifiers.

More experimentation is likely, in terms of tactics and personnel, as Southgate looks to coax an exciting performance to sweep away memories of Thursday’s torturous 1-0 win over Slovenia.

It is hard to recall a less dynamic Wembley display than that and the man in charge of improving matters is eager to find the right formula before next summer.

“For sure we’ll make changes but want to get the balance right,” he said.

“It is a results business but the way I want to play is to entertain as well. This is a game where we want to give a strong performance and win.

“We were very clear in our mind how wanted to evolve and we’ve got an extra game to do that now, which is a great opportunity to look at a couple of things.

“Everyone was disappointed with the performance, none more so than me. We want to learn thing from the game and don’t want to waste that opportunity.”

The likes of Harry Maguire, Michael Keane, Harry Winks, Kieran Trippier and Jesse Lingard are among those desperate for a chance to impress but Southgate would only guarantee Butland a starting spot.

The 24-year-old has made only one appearance for his country since suffering a stress fracture of the ankle in his previous start in Germany nearly 18 months ago.

That was the beginning of a long and troubling spell on the sidelines, but he is now back at peak condition and pressing Hart hard.

“I’ve said all along there’s great competition for places,” said Southgate.

“I think Joe’s performance (against Slovenia) the other night was excellent, not only did he make important saves but also his decision making and distribution. His management of the game was excellent.

“Clearly we have also got other good goalkeepers in the squad and this is a great opportunity for Jack to play. He’s been patient for his opportunity and his form is good.

“Jack was my captain at under-21 level. He’s an outstanding personality, a strong leader, so why don’t we use those qualities?”

Butland is confident and unapologetic about his designs on Hart’s spot but insists the battle is all well-intentioned.

“We’re all after the same shirt but we’re keen to push each other to a high standard because that means success for us as a nation,” he said.

“We have brilliant rivalry but a great friendship too. It’s been a long process getting back fit and I finally feel like I’m back where I was, playing consistently and back in the England set-up.”

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