Nick Pope carrying no emotional baggage after missing Euros, insists Burnley boss Sean Dyche
Burnley keeper Nick Pope was at Wembley as England came agonisingly close to ending 55 years of hurt in the Euro 2020 final.
Gareth Southgate’s young squad were only denied a first major international trophy since the 1966 World Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Italy.
Pope was in the stands with his father, but he should have been with the squad, maybe even in the starting XI, giving how hard he had pushed number one Jordan Pickford, starting all three World Cup qualifiers in March.
However, knee surgery at the end of the Premier League season put paid to his Euro hopes.
He is set for his first competitive game since, as Burnley open their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton on Saturday, and boss Sean Dyche feels the disappointment at missing such a memorable summer with the Three Lions won’t stay with his top stopper.
Dyche said: “I don’t think missing out hurt as much, because towards the end of the season he knew it wasn't right.
“I think it is different if you go to the tournament and you are involved in the build-up, and then you have to pull out.
”That is a different ball game. I think it would hurt more.
“He could have taken a risk, but it was too much in the end. And his professional standards wouldn’t have allowed him to do that.
“So I don't think there is any baggage in that case, because it was taken out of his hands.
“It’s worse for the players who actually get to the tournament, because you’re physically involved.
”And if you get injured then, it’s probably a much more bitter pill to swallow.”