Belfast Telegraph

Pope’s England outing pleases Dyche

The Burnley keeper made his first competitive appearance for the Three Lions in Kosovo.

Nick Pope’s England start pleased Sean Dyche (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Nick Pope’s England start pleased Sean Dyche (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was delighted to see the latest step in Nick Pope’s development, with a first England start for the Clarets goalkeeper.

Pope played the full 90 minutes of the Three Lions’ 4-0 win in Kosovo, adding to the previous international cap he won as a substitute against Costa Rica 18 months ago.

Last season was a concerning one for the 27-year-old, with a bad shoulder injury and competition from Tom Heaton and Joe Hart rendering him a peripheral figure at Turf Moor.

After no Premier League appearances in 2018/19 he has emerged as the club’s undisputed number one this term, with Heaton sold to Aston Villa and Hart on the bench.

A nod from Gareth Southgate has now confirmed he is back on the up.

“I’m pleased for him,” said Dyche.

“It was a dominant night (in Kosovo), but the one thing I know from being a defender, let alone being a goalkeeper, is that it’s lovely when you’re playing and you get a clean sheet.

“He’ll be very pleased with that, regardless of whether he had a relatively quiet evening or not.

“And just the feeling of being out there and playing and being part of it. He’s enjoyed the experience. He’s come through a serious injury and keeps delivering performances and I think he continues to improve, as well.”

Burnley visit Watford on Saturday, having entered the international break on the back of a 3-0 win over West Ham.

Matej Vydra (hip) will not be involved against his former club, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater also on the sidelines.

PA

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