Former Ipswich and Bury keeper Pope makes full England debut
PUBLISHED: 20:52 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 21:02 17 November 2019
Former Ipswich Town youngster Nick Pope kept a clean sheet after being handed his full England debut in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo.
Pope, who was released by Town at 16 before studying at West Suffolk College and playing for Bury Town, made his first start as the Three Lions ran out 4-0 winners with goals from Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount.
The 27-year-old Burnley stopper, who made his international debut as a substitute against Costa Rica last June, made a good early save to deny Kosovo's Atdhe Nuhiu in Pristina.
After being selected for last summer's World Cup squad, Pope will be hoping to make the number one spot his own before next summer's European Championships.
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The former West Suffolk College business student was joined in the starting line-up by ex-Ipswich Town star Tyrone Mings, who was making only his second start for his country.
MORE: Former Ipswich and Bury Town goalkeeper Pope's journey from 4am milk rounds to the England squad
England wobbled at times at the rocking Fadil Vokrri Stadium in their last competitive game before the tournament, but the win means Gareth Southgate's men head to Euro 2020 among the top seeds.
England boss Southgate, whose side were already assured of top spot in Group A, said: "I think it was a tight game. It was a good test for us really. "Difficult pitch, in particular, lots of people slipping and a few passes went astray.
"But we needed a tighter game. It was the sort of challenge I was pleased we got.
"We had to withstand spells of pressure, gave them a few half-chances that on another night could be more of a problem, but in the end our counter-attacking was absolutely ruthless."