Newcastle United beat Nottingham Forest in the opening game of the new Premier League season with a performance that left Toon fans buzzing. But Nick Pope was laughing.
The 30-year-old made his Toon debut on Saturday, getting the nod ahead of Martin Dubravka. It was a show of faith from Eddie Howe, who will be going with Pope as his number one stopper for now.
It was a quiet afternoon for the England international, who didn’t have a single save to make. He came for a few crosses and his distribution was quick and efficient, but that was as good as it got for the £10million signing.
Pope wasn’t tested at all by Forest, which is a testament to the team’s overall performance. It was a pretty perfect start to the season, and one that amused Pope.
Why Pope found Newcastle beating Forest funny
After the game, Pope spoke to the Shields Gazette, and explained why he was able to have a bit of a joke once the full time whistle went.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Winning mentality at Newcastle
It was a brilliant start to the season for Newcastle, who began last year’s campaign in very different fashion. The first match was a humbling 4-2 defeat to West Ham, which started a run of 14 games without a win.
Then came gameweek 15 where we beat Burnley, who Pope played for at the time. He had a tough start to last season too, with the Clarets not winning any of their first nine games.
But while Newcastle eventually bounced back and finished strongly, Pope’s side ended the season in 18th place with just seven wins all season.
It’s a complete contrast at St James’ Park now, with Pope and his new side starting the season in confident fashion. There is no losing mentality this time around, which is going to serve us very well.
Howe has built a team that knows how to win games, which is pretty funny when you think back to how we started last season.
Hopefully Saturday’s win is the first of many for Newcastle and Pope this season.