Nick Pope "right back on it" says Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche feels goalkeeper Nick Pope is "right back on it" ahead of the England squad announcement on Thursday.

Nick Pope
Nick Pope

Pope, a regular in Gareth Southgate's group for over three years, missed Euro 2020 due to a knee injury which required surgery, and, having returned to the squad for September's World Cup qualifiers, was left out last month.

Arsenal's summer signing Aaron Ramsdale came back in, as Southgate explained: "Aaron was with us all summer, so we had the opportunity to work with him for a long period of time and get to understand his strengths.

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“Nick is still, I think, coming back from the injury he had a little bit, and I think Aaron is just in a better vein of form at the moment.

"From Aaron’s perspective, I think the move to a club with high expectation, a style of play where he is asked to build with his feet from the back which he is coping with really well.

"That is an important factor for us when I look at the biggest matches in particular to be able to do that as a goalkeeper.”

Ramsdale is expected to retain his place in the squad, catching the headlines in particular with a fine save from a James Maddison free kick on Saturday, but Pope is also back in form, making two excellent stops against Spurs last Wednesday, to deny Giovano Lo Celso and Lucas Moura, while he made a key save from Ivan Toney against Brentford on Saturday, and turned away a Christian Nørgaard strike that bounced just in front of him.

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Asked about Pope returning to his best, Dyche said: “Definitely, he’s not been far off it, people were just beginning to question him, but he has had a serious injury.

"But he’s looking right back on it, in his handling, coming out the six-yard box and dealing with crosses, his eye is right in again.

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“Pleased for him, because he’s a top keeper."