Former England and Liverpool goalkeeper backing Nick Pope for Premier League prize

One-time England international goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is rooting for Burnley's Nick Pope as the race for the Golden Glove nears its conclusion.

Nick Pope of Burnley puts pressure on Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield on July 11, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images)
Nick Pope of Burnley puts pressure on Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield on July 11, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images)

The 39-year-old, who made his only appearance for the Three Lions as a substitute in a friendly against Greece in 2006, is hoping the underdog prevails in this Premier League battle.

Despite Alisson still being in the picture, with the potential to still match Pope's 15 clean sheets, the former Liverpool stopper is backing the current leader.

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Ederson, a 11/10 favourite to land the accolade at the start of the campaign, remains the only contender who can still pip Pope to the prize, with Manchester City taking on Watford tonight.

Chris Kirkland of Liverpool signals to his team mates during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Southampton and Liverpool held on January 18, 2003 at St Marys Stadium in Southampton in England. Liverpool won the match 1-0. (Photo By Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Should the Hornets net at Vicarage Road then Pope would be guaranteed at least a share of the award, which has been won by former Claret Joe Hart and Petr Cech on four occasions.

"He's done great and he's on for the Golden Glove at the minute, which speaks volumes," said Kirkland, who has been appointed as a coach at Colne FC.

"Any of the so-called 'smaller teams', which sounds disrespectful, deserve all the credit, even more so with the amount of clean sheets they've kept.

"He [Pope] is very calm, you don't see him shouting and bellowing, which is good. He's got the frame for it, a good temperament, which you need as a goalkeeper because you're going to make mistakes at times.

"You've got to be able to bounce back quickly and fill your defence with confidence, but they've obviously got a great understanding to keep as many clean sheets as they have."

Pope, who was named in the 23-man England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, currently has two caps for his country.

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He made his debut just over two years ago when he was introduced as a 65th minute substitute in a 2-0 win over Costa Rica and appeared again, with another clean sheet, in a European Championship qualifier against Kosovo in November.

The former Charlton Athletic keeper has had to be patient, with Everton's Jordan Pickford emerging as Gareth Southgate's number one, but Kirkland believes the capture of the Golden Glove can only aid Pope's cause.

"I'm a Liverpool fan so if Alisson wins it, great, but I really hope Popey does it. If he beats those kinds of guys to it then I think it speaks volumes.

"He deserves it for me and I hope he gets it. Alisson will want the Golden Glove, but I don't think he can argue too much with a Champions League and a Premier League.

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"Being an England goalkeeper in the reckoning if he gets the award it might just push him further up the pecking order as well."