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Nick Pope opens up on his desire to dislodge Pickford as England number 1

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Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope has opened up his journey in the lower leagues and reveals that he hopes to replace Jordan Pickford as England’s number 1. Pope remembers how in his younger days, there wasn’t anyone to help him out and talk to him.

Nick Pope reveals that he trains alone mostly and reveals that he had to be alone guarding the post. He also opened up on how one mistake could tarnish the image of a goalkeeper.

“Growing up as a goalkeeper, you almost get used to it – you realise that is how the land lies,” Pope says. “The ones that stick out are sometimes the mistakes, they are easily highlighted because they often cost your team a goal. The sooner you realise that is a reality, the sooner it is you accept responsibility and you find it easier to move forward.

“Some people will just look at the mistakes, however dreadful that sounds. But as a goalkeeper, whether you like it or not, your job is to make as few mistakes as possible – along with all the other good things you can do. It’s a different responsibility.”

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Pope also made a revelation that goalkeeper usually have to learn to concede goals. He said that when he went on loan to Charlton, the manager told him to out there and make mistakes. It’s all part of the learning process.

“Before I went to York on loan [in 2013-14], the Charlton manager at the time, Chris Powell, said something like: ‘I want you to go there and make mistakes,’” Pope continues.

“It was a really strange line and something that stuck in my head but I completely know what he means. You’ve got to learn how to react when a goal goes in. How you show yourself afterwards is important.

“It’s important, too, not to go out on the pitch fearing mistakes. It is something that is going to happen. That’s why I talk about putting your mind at ease to have the freedom to make brave decisions and actions.”

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The 28-year-old goalkeeper joined the Clarets in 2016 from Charlton after six loan move from the Addicks. Last year, Pope signed a new contract with Burnley keeping him at the club till 2023. When asked about replacing Pickford as England’s number one, Pope said:

“Haha, good question. But one of my main things is not to look too far ahead. I’m really looking after myself at Burnley. England is so far away, even though being the No 1 is something that I want. It’s a real dream of mine to play at Wembley and to represent England as many times as possible.”

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