20 July 2024

The £12m Newcastle United star ‘distracted’ by shock transfer talk against Brighton.

Former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has provided an interesting view on Nick Pope’s “uncharacteristic” performance against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The former Burnley man momentarily redeemed himself to deny Kaoru Mitoma from a tight angle after a poor clearance was picked up by Pervis Estupinan. However, Pope could only parry the second effort from Billy Gilmour into Ferguson’s path, who netted from close range.

 

Pope was beaten by Ferguson again from long distance before the Republic of Ireland international sealed his hat-trick via a shot that deflected in off Magpies’ central defence Fabian Schar.

 

Asked about the 31-year-old’s performance, Schwarzer gave an interesting assessment.

 

Newcastle were linked with a shock late move for Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on transfer deadline day, and although those claims were played down by the club, Schwarzer reckons it might have affected Pope.

 

“Maybe the talk of Hugo Lloris potentially coming to Newcastle, maybe that was in his head a little bit. It was uncharacteristic of Pope to have a performance like that,” the Australian told Optus Sport.

 

“I’m going to go back to what Eddie Howe said first game about ‘we could dream’ but that’s turned into a nightmare. The next three games they’ve lost. So, is Eddie Howe a victim of his own success if these results continue?

Newcastle United lost 3-1 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday evening and Pope was at fault for the first of Evan Ferguson’s three goals.

Because the expectations of Newcastle now are they’re going to go to places like Brighton and win.”

 

Pope was part of the joint-best defence in the Premer League last season following his £12million from Burnley, despite keeping just one clean sheets in his 15 games.

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