VIDEO: Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope wants to become established in the Premier League

Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope denies Liverpool's Mo Salah at Turf Moor
Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope denies Liverpool's Mo Salah at Turf Moor

Goalkeeper Nick Pope is certain that the Clarets can continue their evolution and become an established side in the Premier League.


This is now the fifth season in six that Burnley, under boss Sean Dyche, have played top flight football and they've hit the 40-point mark with games to spare in the previous three campaigns.

England international Pope, who was an unused substitute in UEFA European Championship Group A qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo, has made 39 league appearances on that journey and he's hoping there'll be many more to come at this level.

"I don't think there have been any massive changes," he said. "You try and evolve every year, we're a Premier League team so we don't want to stand still. If you do that then you'll find yourself in danger of getting stuck in a rut.

"You look to evolve certain things year on year because the aim is to become an established Premier League side.

"We've learnt things in the years we've had in the Premier League, we're evolving this year and learning new things to take us up to the next level."

The former Charlton Athletic stopper, who was crowned Burnley's Player of the Year for 2017/18, is challenging the club to improve on last season's 15th place finish, where more than half of their games ended in defeat.

The Clarets have lost twice in their opening four fixtures, but those reversals came against European champions Liverpool and Europa League finalists Arsenal.

"We've got to try and take as many points as we can and look to improve on last year," Pope said. "That would be a good starting point. That's the main aim.

"It's an open division, there are a lot of points being picked up where you never thought they would be, so we've got to look at that as a positive from our point of view. We'll take every game as it comes, home and away, and look to take points from all of them."

The Clarets have opened with an average of a point per game having beaten Southampton at Turf Moor before being held against Wolves at Molineux.

The 27-year-old is relatively satisfied with that ratio, given the complexity of their run-in so far, yet he feels that his team-mates have been deserving of more.

He said: "We're fairly happy. The Wolves one was a bit of a hard one to take because it was so late in the game. I felt like we played really well and dominated large parts.

"That's the only one where it may seem like six rather than four would be a bit fairer. I think we've got to be happy with four, especially with performance levels.

"We haven't scraped four points, we've deserved them so far. We're happy with a steady start.

"We've come in off the back of a tough pre-season. We've stuck together, got through it and I think it has shown.

"We've looked really fit in the first few weeks of the season and we've got a really good feeling in the squad. Having that behind us this year is benefiting us massively."

Brighton kick-start a sequence of games where the Clarets will be hopeful of embellishing their points return as jousts with newly promoted Norwich City and Aston Villa follow on.

The Seagulls, beaten 3-1 at the Amex Stadium in this fixture last term, are somewhat of an unknown quantity at this early stage given that they're now piloted by former Swansea City boss Graham Potter.

A 3-0 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road got his tenure off to the perfect start and they added another point in a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham United.

But they were then beaten 2-0 by the Saints in Falmer while champions Manchester City put four past them prior to the international break.

Pope said: "It happens every year. You normally get three newly promoted teams with a new brand of football.

"Managers change regularly in football nowadays so it's something that you're used to coming up against.

"It's the same badge on the shirt, just maybe different styles and personnel. It's something we'll have to look at and prepare for.

"We've got to take that on now and go down there with the right mentality. We'll have to take those performances that we've put in so far and try to put another one in away from home."