Eddie Howe has hailed Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope as a ‘difference maker’ for his side after the goalkeeper’s recent form.
Pope has impressed as Newcastle have recorded consecutive clean sheets against Brentford and AC Milan, with the goalkeeper outstanding as the Magpies battled to a goalless draw with the latter in their Champions League opener this week.
Pope was left out of the England squad for September’s international fixtures, but Howe is in no doubt over the 31-year-old’s qualities.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Newcastle’s fixture with Sheffield United, Howe praised Pope as a difference maker for his side.
“It’s a difficult one. I can’t speak for Nick but whenever I’ve seen him train and play he is a highly motivated individual,” Howe said on whether Pope was disappointed to miss out on the England squad.
“He always wants to train, he always wants to play, and put himself forward to do more.
“He wants to maximise every moment in his career. I’d say he is a highly driven and motivated individual.
“His last two displays have been very, very good and I think that is the Nick we saw for the most part last season. He is a difference maker when he plays like that.
“He transformed our backline and gave everyone confidence, not just with the saves but how he distributed the ball too.”
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