Newcastle new boy Nick Pope has admitted his delight at not having to wait until the end of October to taste Premier League victory.
The 30-year-old England international was part of the Burnley side which collected all three points for the first time last season at the 10th attempt when they beat Brentford 3-1 at Turf Moor on October 30, and was on the receiving end when the Magpies finally ended their drought with a 1-0 win over the Clarets on December 4, their 15th game of the league campaign.
Pope, who joined Newcastle in a £10million summer switch, made his competitive debut on Saturday and helped Eddie Howe’s men brush aside promoted Nottingham Forest in a 2-0 opening day success.
A first competitive start for #NUFC for Nick Pope this afternoon.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 6, 2022
He said: “It’s what you look for as a goalkeeper, what you look for as a team.
“We want to win as many games as we can and it’s lovely to get off to the start that we did and have the performance to go with it as well.
“We had a good laugh because it took me 10, 11 games to get a win last year and there were a few more here [at Newcastle] so it’s nice to be one from one.”
Pope, unlike fellow new boy Sven Botman, was thrust straight into Howe’s starting line-up at the expense of Slovakia international Martin Dubravka, and could hardly have enjoyed a more comfortable debut as he did not have a single save of note to make.
We're feeling good. ⚫️⚪️
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 7, 2022
He knows there will be tougher tests ahead, but was happy to have played his part in a win which simply served to add to a growing sense of optimism on Tyneside.
Pope said: “You gain that with experience and, when you get older, you know that as a goalkeeper you do have to wait for the game to come to you a lot of the time and chasing it, if you like, is something that can be detrimental to the team.
“It was important for me to keep that focus and deliver what the team needed.”