Nick Pope reveals what Newcastle United’s dressing room have said about 53-year trophy drought

The England goalkeeper was the Newcastle United hero as he made three saves in a shoot-out win over their Premier League rivals.

Nick Pope believes ending Newcastle United’s 53-year wait for a trophy would be ‘massive’ for the Magpies squad and the city as a whole.

The England goalkeeper was the star of the show as he helped Eddie Howe’s side come through an awkward Carabao Cup third round tie against Premier League rivals Crystal Palace. Pope made one stunning save to deny Eagles forward Jean-Philippe Mateta midway through the first-half but it was during a penalty shoot-out when he came to the fore after the two sides failed to break the deadlock over 90 minutes.

Pope kept out spot-kicks from Luka Milivojevic, Mateta and Malcom Ebiowei to help the Magpies to only their third competitive shoot-out win in 13 attempts and secure a place in Thursday’s fourth round draw. Speaking after the game, Pope revealed the United squad have discussed the possibility of ending the club’s trophy drought - but warned that they can’t afford to get ahead of themselves as they look to carry on a positive opening three months to the season.

He told NUFC TV: “We’ve had a really positive start to the season and tonight was about carrying it on, carrying some momentum and having a next round to look forward to. It’s something we have spoken about as a squad is trying to win a trophy and if you go out in the early rounds you don’t give yourself a chance. It’s great to be in the hat.

“I’ve heard it was around the moon landing the last time we won a trophy, so everyone is aware of it and because of the positive start and the bounce I think the league form has given us and how well we are playing, it’s something we want to put right. If we can be the group of players to deliver that for the city, that would be massive. We have to get through the next round, you can never look too far ahead in cup competitions, you have to really nail the next one. Whoever we get, we will prepare right and go after it again.”

Pope has enjoyed a fine start to life on Tyneside after making a £12m move from Burnley during the summer transfer window. Already a popular figure with the St James Park faithful, the 30-year-old further enhanced his standing with United supporters by playing such a key role in helping their side progress into the last 16 of the competition.

The stopper reflected on a challenging night for his side and revealed his shoot-out heroics were down to ‘a little bit of luck and a little bit of preparation”.

He said: “I’m really happy. I think (it was) not the best performance for the 90 minutes but in cup competitions it’s about winning the game by any means to get through. We have to be over the moon with that. It’s a bit of a lottery, the penalties, luckily enough, you go the right, you give yourself a chance and (I am) really happy to keep a couple out. It’s a little bit of guesswork and when you take a side, they have to put it that way and you have to do your best to cover as much of that side as you can. There’s a little bit of luck and a little bit of preparation.”