Unflappable Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope claims he doesn’t fear conceding more Harry Kane goals when the lowly Clarets visit Spurs… but admits being England team-mates has not helped him stop Tottenham’s deadly talisman
- Nick Pope faces regular tormentor Harry Kane when Burnley travel to Tottenham
- In-form striker Kane has scored six goals in six against England team-mate Pope
- Burnley are in a relegation battle while Spurs are chasing the Champions League
- Pope says his farmer father has contributed to his calm Premier League displays
Goalkeeper Nick Pope needs a change of luck facing England striker Harry Kane as Burnley’s relegation fight takes them to Tottenham on Sunday.
Kane has scored six in six against his international team-mate, including goals in Tottenham’s last two home games against the Clarets which have ended in 4-0 and 5-0 victories.
‘I’ve seen Harry closer up than most but I don’t think it’s helped. His goal record against me is decent, which suggests not!’ says Pope, 30, who has won eight England caps.
Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope (right) is an England team-mate of Tottenham striker Harry Kane
Any closeness the pair share has not resulted in Kane easing off against Pope during club duty
‘I don’t think I will be giving our defenders too much advice. If you tell them one thing to watch out for, I am sure Harry will find something else.’
Burnley suffered their first defeat under interim boss Mike Jackson last week and are scrapping for survival with Leeds and Everton, with just two points separating them.
Pope says Burnley are trying to use the relative size of their rivals to their advantage. ‘We are the underdogs, given the stature and history of the other clubs,’ he admits.
Pope appreciates the need to stay unflappable, with Burnley also facing Aston Villa in midweek before finishing off at home to Newcastle.
Kane scored two in a 3-0 win over Arsenal and is now aiming to give Burnley similar treatment
‘My dad is a farmer and has that natural [calm] demeanour. It is probably where I get it from,’ he says.
‘At home, it’s important to switch off and reset. Once the game has gone, there is no point going crazy about it — have downtime, come into the building on Monday and challenge again.’
After years of playing behind a settled back four, Pope has to deal with injuries to key central defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, but says the impact of Nathan Collins at the back has prevented it from being a disaster.
‘Nathan is 21 going on 33, he looks like he has played a hundred league games. All credit to him.’
Pope has one relegation on his CV with Charlton before he joined Burnley. ‘We were cut adrift by February and went down with a few games to spare,’ he recalls. ‘We got tennis balls chucked at us and [plastic] pigs thrown on the pitch.
‘I don’t think there will be anything like that at Burnley!’
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