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Dyche hails Pope after keeper earns England recall

Sean Dyche has welcomed Nick Pope’s England recall after the Burnley goalkeeper was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the European Championship qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

Pope’s last England involvement came as a squad member in the 2018 World Cup campaign, but a shoulder dislocation led to him missing a large chunk of last season as he worked his way back to fitness.

He has cemented his position as Burnley’s number one, with Tom Heaton sold to Aston Villa, and now seems to be part of Southgate’s plans going forward.

“I’m really pleased for him,” Clarets manager Sean Dyche told a press conference. “He had a very tough season last season, somewhat out of his hands with his injury.

“It was a tough decision this season with Tom (Heaton) going but we know what a great keeper Popey is.

“He’s showing it again so far this season. He’s been calm with his performances. It’s really good for him and good for the club to have a player recognised again by England.”

Defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Mee were overlooked for the two fixtures, and while Dyche felt Ashley Westwood may have deserved a nod.

He added: “Tarky, Ben Mee are two players who I think are very, very good players and who started the season very clear-minded and very focused on the job in hand.

“Some players get overlooked as they get a bit older. I think Westy’s been in great form, who knows? But Gareth’s been fair, he comes to our games a lot.

“I think we’ve got some good players and they deserve a bit of recognition and if it comes their way we’d be delighted for them.”