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Pope In Dreamland After Winning Debut

Nick Pope delighted to make a winning start to Premier League career

10 September 2017

Nick Pope was in dreamland after making a winning start to his Premier League career.

The Clarets’ goalkeeper got his first taste of top-flight football when he came off the bench to replace the injured Tom Heaton.

And the 25-year-old made a match-winning save on the way to a clean sheet which brought Burnley a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and a first home victory of the season.

“You see goalkeepers up and down the country who might sit on the bench all season,” Pope told Clarets Player HD.

“It’s rare. It’s something that’s hard to prepare for but you have to come on and use the skills you do in training and have learned throughout your career and do the best you can.

“It’s something I wanted to do when I came from Charlton – to hopefully get Premier League games.

“The lads were excellent and to get a win on Premier League debut is stuff dreams are made of.”

Nick Pope gets the congratulations of goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer

Pope had been restricted to cup duty for the Clarets since signing from League One side Charlton at the start of last season, making five previous starts.

But he stepped into the breach 10 minutes before half-time and gave an assured performance – capped by a superb late block from Christian Benteke – as Burnley held onto the early lead given to them by Chris Wood on his Turf Moor debut to make it seven points from the opening four games of the Premier League season.

“I’m really happy at how it’s gone,” Pope said. “The lads were excellent in front of me.

“There were goalline clearances and last-ditch blocks and I didn’t have loads to do.

 “It’s a good start for us. We would have taken that before the start of the season, no doubt.

“We have looked good. We have looked ready in every game and created chances.

“The one defeat was disappointing but we picked ourselves up and have got four points since then, so we are really happy.”

Pope may now get an extended run in the side after Heaton suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder.

And the potentially long-term injury to the Clarets’ captain and England international was the one down side of a memorable day.

“I really feel for Tom,” Pope added. “He’s a great lad and really good friend.

“We have a really great group here and the goalkeepers are really tight-knit.

“For that to happen is disappointing.”

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