Kieran Trippier hails ‘vital’ Newcastle United star as Magpies keeper reacts to new club record

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The England full-back singled out one Magpies team-mate for special praise.

Newcastle United defender Kieran Trippier hailed Magpies goalkeeper Nick Pope in the aftermath of Saturday evening’s goalless draw at Crystal Palace.

The England stopper has been an undoubted success since he moved to Tyneside in a reported £10m deal from Burnley during the summer. Pope was once again in impressive form at Selhurst Park as he preserved his 15th clean sheet of the season with a stunning late save to deny Eagles substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta.

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Trippier believes the result and United’s disappointment at not taking all three points shows how far they have come as a team over the last 12 months - and he singled out Pope for special praise by admitted it was a joy to have the Magpies keeper in such fine form behind him.

He told Sky Sports: “We worked really hard on the training pitch and if you don’t concede you’ve got a great chance of winning the game. That starts from the front and we defend well as a team. And when you’ve someone like Pope behind us making vital saves like that, it’s a joy to have him on our team.

“We’ve taken huge steps in a short space of time because this time last year we were fighting relegation. We have shown great steps as a team, not just as eleven players, everybody has made a huge impact and long may that continue.”

The result set a new club record for the Magpies as Eddie Howe’s side made it 15 games unbeaten in the Premier League - surpassing a record set by Alan Pardew’s United side of 2011.

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Pope believes the current Magpies squad should be proud of that achievement and challenged his team-mates to show the hunger and desire to ‘keep pushing’ themselves to improve throughout the remainder of the season.

“We are disappointed with today but when you look back on the way the first-half of the season has gone, it’s something we are proud of and we’ve got to work to protect now. I think it’s important, games like today, we’ve got to have the mentality to win the game and feel the disappointment when we don’t.

“That’s something we can carry forward with us. We have to be hungry and have that desire to keep pushing ourselves. That’s something that will be important for us going forwards.”

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