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Pope: Great To Be In The Frame

Clarets goalkeeper enjoys learning curve of first England call-up

28 March 2018

Nick Pope admits talk of an England call-up before a ball had been kicked this season would have been ‘madness’.

But the Clarets’ goalkeeper has now put himself firmly on the international radar after working as part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the first time.

“If, at the start of the season, you had said that I would have said ‘you’re mad’. It’s nice to have my name in the arena,” said Pope after sitting on the bench for England’s 1-1 draw with Italy at Wembley on Tuesday night when Turf Moor team-mate James Tarkowski won his first cap.

“I’ve enjoyed the training and I think I’ve done well, so fingers crossed that will stand me in good stead for the future.”

Pope was one of four goalkeepers in the England party for back-to-back friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy.

Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Stoke City’s Jack Butland were the two who got their chance to push their claims for the number-one slot for the summer’s World Cup Finals with a 90-minute appearance each.

But Pope – who along with Joe Hart and Clarets colleague Tom Heaton are also in contention for a place in the squad for Russia 2018 – is understood to have impressed in training.

And the 25-year-old, who has enjoyed an outstanding break-through season in the Premier League after replacing the injured Heaton in the Burnley starting line-up last September, believes he has benefited greatly from the experience.

Pope told Clarets Player HD: “I’ve massively enjoyed it. I got to work with a whole new goalie group and a new group of players and I’ve loved it – every minute, every training session.

"It’s a massive learning curve as well. I’ve learned a lot about myself, a lot about my game and where to improve. It’s been a great 10 days.

“All the lads have been excellent. The staff as well. They make you feel welcome as soon as you come in the door.

“It couldn’t have been easier to be honest, to settle in. I think James would agree. The lads have been great to both of us.”

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