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POPE: It Was Great To Be Back

Nick Pope delighted to return to action

17 December 2018

Nick Pope was delighted to return to action this afternoon for the U23s, in their 3-1 victory over Sheffield United.

Pope completed 90 minutes at the Look Local Stadium in Sheffield and admitted he was pleased to be back on the pitch in a competitive fixture.

Although the Clarets conceded just before the break, the England International didn’t have much to do in the first-half.

However, the second-half saw the Blades test Pope several times and the Clarets keeper said: "It was great to be back.

"It’s been a long injury but to get back and play a real game and 90 minutes was great.

“I try to help out where I can. I remember playing those sorts of games when I was their age.

“So it was good to be one of the experienced ones there today.

"I think that’s part of the experience and part of my job to step down and help the younger lads out.”

Despite today’s U23 fixture being the last one until January 7, Pope is eager to be back involved again and get plenty of match-time under his belt.

But the former Charlton man was happy to have played a part in a win which saw Steve Stone’s side rise to joint-top of the table.

Pictures: Sport Image

He added: “I just need to get a few more games first obviously, so that’s my target now I’m back in full training and have been now for a couple of weeks.

“Its just the games I need now, to get my distances and my timing and just everything you need as a goalkeeper.

“That is just the main target and focus now, whether the games are in house and behind-closed-doors or whatever. I just need to get the games in."

And head coach Stone was also pleased to see the Clarets stopper back out there and admitted he played a key role throughout the 90 minutes.

Stone smiled: “It was great for Popey (Nick Pope) to be involved, there was a lot going on in the second half; a lot of balls flashing into the box and things that he had to get down low to.

“Then there was a flurry of corners which he organised well and it's what he probably needed but it was really good for him."

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