Clarets goalkeeper Pope is proud of his penalty prowess

Nick Pope celebrates his penalty save whilst Joselu holds his head in despair
Nick Pope celebrates his penalty save whilst Joselu holds his head in despair
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Penalty saves are a goalkeeper’s equivalent to scoring goals, according to Burnley shot stopper Nick Pope.

The 25-year-old added another layer to his game when denying Spaniard Joselu’s spot kick in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

That intervention had kept the game goal-less at the time as had his phenomenal stop to tip Kenedy’s strike on to the upright earlier in the first half.

The former Charlton Athletic man, who claimed that his save to thwart the loaned Brazilian midfielder was one of the best of his career, says that he is just happy to keep contributing.

Pope said: “I’m happy. When it contributes to points on the board that’s when you can go away and be happy with yourself.

“The first one’s taken a nick off Longy and I’ve stretched as far as I can. I’ve managed to get a little touch on it and it’s hit the post and stayed out. God was shining on me there. I needed every inch to stop that.

“I think it’s one of my best. I’ll have to watch it back. I enjoyed it; it felt good. Hopefully I’ll get a few replays of it.”

He added: “I managed to get to the penalty so I’m delighted. As a goalkeeper you can’t really score goals so those are your moments. I’m happy to help.

“At the end of the day you pick a side, you guess and you go for it really. That’s what I did and happily I guessed right.

“Maybe it swings the game’s momentum sometimes with a penalty save or a save like that so it’s nice to contribute.

“I’m building every week and adding layers to my game. I’m growing in confidence with every week that goes by and the games keep coming.”

With the Clarets moving back up to seventh in the Premier League, Pope is now challenging his team mates to try and stay there.

Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with champions elect Manchester City at Turf Moor, he said: “We’re the best of the rest, we’re still up there, and that’s got to be our aim now. We’ve got to try and stay on the coat tails of those above us, that’s the plan.

“We’ve just got to keep building. We’ve done well and now we’ve got to take that character in to Saturday. It’s another game and we’ll try to win that.

“Liverpool did it two weeks ago so they’re not unbeatable. We’ve got to put our game-plan together and show them what we’ve got and make the game about us.

“There are a few ways to do it, nobody is unbeatable. You want these tests, that’s why we’re here in the Premier League.”