Eddie Howe comments on Nick Pope's 'important' role against Crystal Palace
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Eddie Howe comments on Nick Pope's 'important' role against Crystal Palace

Newcastle United were dominant against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but still had to rely on Nick Pope to secure a point.

The game ended 0-0, despite the Magpies scoring a perfectly legal goal. However, Tyrick Mitchell’s own goal was inexplicably chalked off by VAR.

But for all the chances Newcastle created, we very easily could have lost as well. Palace were dangerous on the break, and had spells when they were on top. With players like Wilfried Zaha, they are always going to be a threat.

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Luckily Pope was equal to everything that came his way, and made a couple of really impressive saves. There was one in the first half to deny Jean-Philippe Mateta, whose snap shot was palmed away by Newcastle’s £10million man.

He then denied Odsonne Edouard late in the second half thanks to an incredible save with his feet. Pope’s sharp reactions ensured he kept a third clean sheet in Toon colours, and Howe praised his performance after the full time whistle.

Howe on Pope vs Palace

The Newcastle boss spoke to NUFC TV after the game, and was asked about the vital foundation Nick Pope provides after getting another clean sheet.

“It’s really important,” Howe said.

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“Nick did very well today, there was one key save with his legs in the second half.

“I think the danger with that type of game today is that when you are so dominant and you’re creating a number of chances that you lose your concentration and concede the other way.”

Pope has already proven his worth

A new goalkeeper wasn’t seen as an essential signing this summer by a lot of Toon fans, but Pope has already proven to be worth his weight in gold.

The 30-year-old has had an exceptional start to his Newcastle career, keeping three clean sheets from his first six appearances. It’s difficult to remember a single error he’s made.

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Pope has made such a difference already, and is an assured presence in between the sticks at St James’ Park. It fills you with confidence as a fan, and the players must feel the same too.

Crystal Palace easily could have won on Saturday. It wouldn’t have been a surprise given how much we dominated but were unable to score. The game felt set up for Palace to hit us with a sucker punch.

They nearly did, but Pope stood up when called upon. That shows how good a goalkeeper he is. He had a quiet afternoon, but kept his concentration in pivotal moments.

As Howe says, Pope did really well at the weekend, and his importance to Newcastle grows game by game.