Want to prove myself again at Newcastle and take myself to next level, claims Nick Pope
Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope believes that his time with the Magpies will help take his game to the next level and prove to the league that he belongs in the top tier. The Englishman also added that it will be tough for him to make the cut for the World Cup but that is his ambition.
While they already had Karl Darlow and Martin Dubravka, the presence of Nick Pope has elevated Newcastle United to a level few believed was possible. The Magpies have struggled to spend big this summer because of financial fair play rules but did manage to bring in Pope before the season started and that has proved to be a masterstroke. The Englishman has played every game so far for the club, keeping three clean sheets and put up a masterful performance against Manchester City.
It has many wondering why Pope struggled for Burnley as the Clarets got relegated at the end of the 2021/22 season but the goalkeeper admitted that his final season there was a tough one. He believes that it was made even harder because of how things ended. Not only that, Pope added that the move to Newcastle is one that he really wanted and he knows he can improve even further there.
"It's never an easy thing to go through especially in the manner we did at Burnley - it went to the last day and not being in it but then being put back in. It was difficult and it was the end of my time there and I didn't really get to see the boys - we were part of a team that has been together a long time and it's now all broken up, the end of an era. When I heard about the interest here I was over the moon, I was massively excited and it is sort of a reset you have to prove yourself again. I want to do that and take myself to the next level,” Pope told Sky Sports.
However, despite his struggles, Pope’s shot-stopping skills and his ability to step up at key moments has seen many England fans clamour to see the Newcastle goalie replace Jordan Pickford. But that hasn’t happened yet as Gareth Southgate prefers the Everton star although Pope admitted that his goal is to make the cut for the 2022 World Cup squad. Yet he added that competition is high following Dean Henderson and Sam Johnstone’s return to top flight football.
"Aaron Ramsdale has done very well at Arsenal, Sam Johnstone is back in the Premier League, Dean Henderson is playing at Forest now so there is real competition for the three spots. It is still early in the season and obviously Jordan has been No 1 ever since I have been in the squad and has performed tremendously well for England. Club form is the one that will take you to a World Cup which is all my aims and ambitions,” he added.