Keeper Nick Pope gets defender’s blessing

Nick Pope clears under pressure from Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho
Nick Pope clears under pressure from Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

Defender Matt Lowton has praised goalkeeper Nick Pope’s impact after stepping in to the breach following skipper Tom Heaton’s injury.

The 25-year-old, signed from Charlton Athletic, has conceded just once in 325 minutes since making his Premier League debut, beaten by Mohamed Salah in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

Since moving from The Valley last summer, the Clarets stopper has now kept seven clean sheets in 10 fixtures with Sunderland, on two occasions, Bristol City, Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town and Everton failing to find a way through.

“I think he’s been fantastic,” said Lowton. “Weve seen first hand how good he is in training. His shot stopping his phenomenal and in training he’s hard to beat in the small sided games and shooting after training.

“We knew he had the qualities, it was just about coming in and making sure that he wasn’t too nervous. He’s been A1 since he came in and he’s kept us in games just as Tom did before. It’s great to have someone like him there.

“It’s especially hard coming in halfway through a game as well. If the injury had occurred in the week then maybe he’d have had a bit of building up to it.

“He’s come in and done pretty much what he’s been doing in training which everyone at the club knew he could.”