Pope insists Newcastle ambition boosts England career

Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope says the club’s ambitions is helping his England chances.

It was United’s vision in the transfer market that resulted in World Cup-bound Pope making the move from Burnley in the summer. United beat off interest from West Ham and Nottingham Forest to land the 30-year-old stopper.

He said: “I think international football’s something is earned by how you play for your club. Newcastle now will hopefully be seen, and be grown to be seen, as a club where internationals will regularly come from.

“Moving here, and playing in this team is something that will help me get England caps. I’m never going to be a goalkeeper that gets 50, 60 caps. I’m 30. I’m not being unrealistic, but I feel there’s more for me, and I want to see how many I get. It’s another ambition.”

Pope is in pole position to get to the World Cup finals in Qatar providing he stays fit and avoids injuries.

He reflected: “I was lucky enough to be part of the last one. I was unlucky or unfortunate to miss out on the Euros because of my knee surgery, so that fire’s still burning for myself. Being part of a major tournament for England is the biggest stage you can possibly get to. In a footballer’s career, you don’t see too many.

“If you get to three World Cups, you’ve done unbelievably well. It’s special to have that opportunity, and it’ll be a target.”