Newcastle United star admits he could ‘do better’ after major snub – denies ‘fall out’

Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope has reacted to his start to the 2023-24 season and his omission from Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

When asked about his start to the season at Newcastle United, Nick Pope says “there’s always room for improvement.”

Pope has seven clean sheets in 18 appearances for The Magpies this season, while also making several key stops. Newcastle had the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League last season, but haven’t been quite as consistent this season.
When asked how he would rate his own start to the season, Pope was candid: “Okay, I would have liked to do better in some moments, I think, and I’m really happy with other things.”

“Like every season if you’re 12, 15, 20 games into the season, you like to nit-pick and do certain things better and be happy in other moments. That’s how I feel, there’s always room for improvement.”

Pope had been a fixture in the England squad in previous years, but has been left out of the last four England squads after withdrawing due to injury in March. The 31-year-old has not played for his country since a 3-3 draw with Germany in September 2022.


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“I’ve got to make it impossible for Gareth to leave me out in the future,” Pope said, reflecting on his recent absence from the England squad. It’s all up to me. To be honest, I haven’t had any chats with Southgate.

“He’s got a lot of players to look after and other things on his mind, he can’t always be focused on individual players who aren’t in the squad.

“It’s just motivation to do better. I don’t look anywhere else other than myself in the mirror. I want to be back in the England squad, I want to be going to a major tournament at the end of the season. I’m not in the squad, but that’s down to myself. That’s the way I look at it.

“There hasn’t been any fall out. I don’t think so… I had to have surgery on my finger after the Leicester game which was six months overdue to be honest. So, no, there hasn’t been anything like that [a fall out].”

Pope was speaking before of Newcastle’s Champions League group stage match against PSG on Tuesday, November 28 (8 p.m. kickoff).

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