Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope concedes that Jordan Pickford is England’s first-choice goalkeeper, but he is still eyeing up a “once in a lifetime” chance to represent his country during a home tournament. The Clarets stopper is expected to add to his three England caps by starting tonight’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley. It will be a rare opportunity for the 28-year-old to stake his claim for the number-one spot – especially after manager Gareth Southgate said last week that Pickford currently did not have enough competition for the role.
Nick Pope said “I think it’s fair to say he’s number one at the minute, If you look at the last 25, 30 fixtures, he’d have played probably 28 of them. So, a person with that sort of record in the national team, I think, deserves to be called number one and has earned it. It’s not happened overnight. It’s happened over two, three years consistently playing for your country. So, I think it’s fair to say he’s number one at the minute, not to say that doesn’t change whenever the time may be. For a goalkeeper, you’ve got to keep working and – like any player does – earn your right to be in the squad and fighting hard to make your way into the team. I think I’ve done quite well for England in those three games, No goals is always a massive bonus for a goalkeeper and you can’t ask for much more – but I don’t think I’ve been overly tested in all the games either so I don’t think I’m walking round thinking I’m the best goalkeeper in the world.”
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