Burnley manager Nick Pope reveals how a phone call from England manager Gareth Southgate lifted his morale during his long injury spell.
There has been ups and downs in Pope’s career since he became the first choice keeper after an injury to Tom Heaton last season. Pope went on to become one of the most prominent faces in the Premier League with his exemplary shot stopping skills in the Burnley goal and also saw himself selected in the England World Cup squad.
Pope was expected to continue his fairytale story this season. But a shoulder injury in the Europa League qualifier against Aberdeen played spoilsport and Sean Dyche had to bring in Joe Hart from Manchester City to cover his positions.
Pope played his first competitive match against Barnsley in the FA Cup since July and kept a clean sheet as the Clarets moved to the next round. Pope said, “After I got injured, a couple of weeks later after it all died down, he rang me and I had a great conversation with him, so that was a nice lift at a time that was difficult. It was great to hear from him.
“Throughout the World Cup his man-management was top-drawer, so it wasn’t a surprise really. But it was really nice to get that call.”