Burnley’s Nick Pope creates England goalkeeping history

Burnley’s Nick Pope has become the first England goalkeeper to keep clean sheets in his first six internationals.
Nick Pope takes a drink in AlbaniaNick Pope takes a drink in Albania
Nick Pope takes a drink in Albania

Pope, as on Thursday night against San Marino at Wembley, had relatively little to do in Tirana as the Three Lions beat Albania 2-0, with goals from Harry Kane and Mason Mount.

And the shutout means he broke former Claret Chris Woods’ record of clean sheets in his first five games for England

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Pope matched Woods’ record against San Marino, although he surpassed his minutes on the pitch in the 68th minute that night, and has now gone 430 minutes without conceding, since his debut as a substitute against Costa Rica at Elland Road ahead of Russia 2018.

He has since shutout Kosovo (4-0), Wales (3-0), Republic of Ireland (4-0) and San Marino (5-0).

Pope will also start at Wembley on Wednesday night against Poland as Gareth Southgate’s side look to build on their 100% start to qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Southgate said after the win over San Marino: “Nick was always going to play the next games anyway. He’s been really patient for his opportunity.

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“He performs consistently high every week for his club and he’s been with us for a long time, waiting for this moment. He’s a very calm character - we like his personality.

“We knew against San Marino he wasn’t going to be overworked. I’m sure it will be different in the next games.”

Dwight McNeil will be on duty this evening with England Under 21s in Slovenia, against Portugal, as they look to recover from the 1-0 defeat to Switzerland on Thursday in their first group game of the European Championships.