‘Brilliant’: England coach seriously impressed by £10m Newcastle United player in training yesterday
Pope is one of three Newcastle players to make the 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar, with Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier also being selected by Gareth Southgate.
The 30-year-old shot stopper has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season after making the switch from Burnley over the summer.
He has already kept seven clean sheets in the Premier League as Eddie Howe’s men boast the joint-best defensive record in the league.
The £10 million man got the nod over Aaron Ramsdale in the absence of Jordan Pickford for both of England’s Nations League games back in September. And it seems that he is also making an impression on Southgate’s goalkeeping coaches out in Qatar.
England coach impressed by Pope
In a video on England’s official YouTube channel, Southgate’s men can be seen preparing for their World Cup opener against Iran tomorrow.
Pope, Ramsdale and Pickford were being put through their paces yesterday and working on catching the ball.
Coaches were drilling shots straight at the trio and expecting them to keep hold of the ball.
When it was Pope’s turn, he received praise from an England coach for his superb handling.
The coach can be heard saying: “Brilliant focus. Just practising the basic hands. That’s it!”
The Newcastle shot stopper is likely to play a back-up role to Pickford during the tournament but seems to be above Ramsdale in the pecking order right now.
Pickford has performed excellently for England over the past two tournaments but Pope will be hoping to get a chance to impress and make his World Cup debut.
Pope is clearly impressing his coaches in training. He made a similar impact in his last training camp with England, with one coach using him as an example during a training drill.
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