Nick Pope was one of the heroes of last season.

Newcastle United’s decision to replace Martin Dubravka with the former Burnley goalkeeper proved a bargain for a reported £10m, with Pope keeping the third-most clean sheets in the Premier League (14).

While that speaks to the success of the backline as a whole, some of the saves Pope pulled off were fantastic.

Newcastle United Pre-Season Training: Premier League Summer Series
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Hailed for his penalty save against Leeds by Callum Wilson and described as “incredible” by Alexander Isak for his performance at Brentford, the England international was a key part of Newcastle’s success.

The fact he was playing through a nasty finger injury while doing this too is even more remarkable.

Now, Pope has lifted the lid.

Nick Pope shares which of his Newcastle teammates injured him in training

Pope missed the last Premier League game of the season at Chelsea to undergo surgery on a dislocated finger.

Speaking to The Athletic, the custodian provided some insight into exactly what caused it.

Indeed, it seems £12m man Matt Targett is to blame…

Pope: “I give credit to Matt Targett — he was the first to make it dislocate,” he said.

“It was a penalty that he was obviously never going to take (in a game), so I wasn’t best pleased! It happened in a game once — against Bournemouth — but the rest of the times were in training.”

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Carabao Cup Third Round
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle stars put their bodies on the line last season

It wasn’t just Pope playing through the pain barrier last time out.

Dan Burn, after all, was said to have repeatedly dislocated his shoulder after the Christmas period, while Bruno Guimaraes was playing through an ankle injury at points.

If anything sums up the desire and determination of this Newcastle team, it is surely that.

That, of course, is not a long-term strategy and perhaps underlines the need for quality cover going forward but it is amazing to hear these players putting everything on the line.

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