Sean Dyche wouldn’t be surprised by England call for Nick Pope

Nick Pope
Nick Pope

He has made only three Premier League starts since being part of England’s World Cup squad at Russia 2018.

But Clarets boss Sean Dyche wouldn’t be surprised to see goalkeeper Nick Pope return to Gareth Southgate’s pool of players on Thursday.

Southgate will name his group for the September UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria at Wembley and Kosovo at St Mary’s, with Pope a candidate to join Everton’s Jordan Pickford and former Clarets skipper Tom Heaton.

Stoke City keeper Jack Butland is expected to miss out after a difficult start to the season, which saw him dropped for the Potters’ defeat to Leeds on Saturday.

Pope only made three starts for Burnley last season on the back of the World Cup, after dislocating his shoulder at Aberdeen in the Europa League, featuring in the FA Cup in January.

But Dyche said: “He’s been involved before at the World Cup, and he’s totally clear, totally fine and performing well in my view, so it wouldn’t be a surprise.

“He’s just back playing again, so I don’t know, I’ve not heard from anyone from England, sometimes I have a chat with them about things, but I’ll leave it for them.”

Robbie Brady is in the provisional 40-man Republic of Ireland squad squad for games against Switzerland and Bulgaria, despite not featuring for Burnley this season due to a rib injury.

But Dyche has no problem with Brady joining up with the squad, even though he won’t feature against Sunderland tomorrow night in the Carabao Cup: “They have their jurisdiction as well, so that’s another week on, and I’d like to think he’d definitely be fit then, so they’d have a judgement call.

“It’s a hairline fracture, which is a standard injury, it’s not touch and go like a hamstring, once it’s healed, it’s healed, if it’s clear, it’s up to them to use him wisely.”

Sunderland will come too soon for the winger though: “Probably not for Sunderland, but more out of common sense. He hurt it again against Parma, got an elbow, and there’s that weird sod’s law, truly fit, twisting fit, knock fit, but we’ll play with it this week and probably edge on the side of caution unless he is absolutely telling us he is absolutely bang on.

“Drinky (Danny Drinkwater) has every chance, and numerous others. We will make changes for that game.”

Dyche is expected to rotate his goalkeepers, with Joe Hart getting a first start of the season, while he could also bring in Phil Bardsley, Ben Gibson, Charlie Taylor, Aaron Lennon, Jeff Hendrick, Drinkwater, Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra.

Dyche said: “There will definitely be changes for Wednesday's cup game, we want everyone active and alive and I believe in the players.

“I am pretty sure we will put out a team that can attempt to win the game and I believe in the group.

“Everyone has a part to play. It is just about making sure everyone is getting some minutes around the group and staying connected to what the group has to offer over a season because it is a season's work.”