Pope looking to make most of Charlton opportunity

Replacement keeper Nick Pope confidently gathers the ball after coming off the bench. Pictures by Keith Gillard.

Replacement keeper Nick Pope confidently gathers the ball after coming off the bench. Pictures by Keith Gillard.

First published in Sport
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , freelance sports journalist

Nick Pope is hopeful of being called upon to become the Addicks’ number one following an injury to Stephen Henderson during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Wigan.

A late injury-time winner from Franck Moussa gave Bob Peeters’ side all three points after Callum McManaman had earlier levelled for the visitors following a stunning Jordan Cousins opener.

Pope replaced Henderson in the 67th minute after the recent addition from West Ham picked up a hamstring problem which could see him ruled out for upcoming fixtures against Derby and Huddersfield.

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Henderson signals to the bench all is not well

And the 22-year-old, who spent time on-loan at League Two side York at the end of last season, now hopes to be given a chance between the sticks if Henderson does end up missing the next few games.

He said: “I’d hope to start (against Derby).

“They might go out and get someone tomorrow as cover, but I’d hope to play Tuesday if I’m honest.

“At York, I felt I performed well enough to come back and have a chance of playing at the start of the season and I felt I merited that.

“I did all I could at York with the clean sheets and the great run we had, so to do that and put myself in the frame to play (at Charlton) was a massive thing for me.”

Pope produced a fine piece of goalkeeping towards the end when he punched away a Wigan free-kick, flattening two Latics players in the process and earning himself a new nickname in the dressing room.

“A few lads said they didn’t know I was a terminator,” he laughed.

“It was what the delivery called for.

“Obviously you don’t go out to lay players out, but you’re told as a goalkeeper to be aggressive and not let anyone bully you.

“So as a keeper, you have to come out and dominate your box.”

Named as a substitute in the Wigan match, Pope admitted he wasn’t anticipating being involved in Saturday’s 2-1 victory.

“You don’t expect it but you have to be ready and prepare all you can,” he explained.

“It’s not ideal for goalkeepers to have more an outfield player warm up, so it’s important to be brave and be positive and do what you do best.

“I didn’t really notice what happened to Hendo.

“All of a sudden he was down and I was running up and down the touchline.

“There’s really not much time to think about it and yeah, you just have to keep things calm.”

Despite Charlton’s impressive victory over Wigan, Pope is adamant they aren’t getting too carried away with the result.

“Wigan are a massive team and did well last season, so to perform like that was a massive effort from the lads.

“But, nothing’s won in August, we just have to keep going.”  

Follow @NewsShopperSprt on Twitter for live updates from Charlton v Derby tomorrow

 

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