Jordan Pickford has been established as Southgate’s number one for some time, but missed the ongoing international triple-header with an abdominal injury.
This left Pope and Dean Henderson fighting over the gloves for qualifying against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
The rescheduled Euro 2020 is next on the international calendar and the Pope appears to be in pole position to challenge Pickford for a place between the posts.
The Burnley striker played in Thursday’s 5-0 win over San Marino, bringing his clean sheet streak to five from five for England, and Southgate has revealed he is ready to keep his spot for the next two matches.
Highlights of qualifying for the World Cup
Sunday March 28 10:30 p.m.
“Nick was still going to play the next few games anyway,” Southgate said when asked if Pope had a chance to show his worth in a routine win over the world’s lowest ranked football nation.
“He has been very patient for this opportunity and has regularly played at a high level every week for his club and he has been with us for a very long time waiting for this moment.
“He’s a very calm character and I really like his personality. We obviously knew he wasn’t going to be overworked but I’m sure it will be different in the next few games. ”
Midfielder Jude Bellingham is another player hoping for more minutes in the coming games with an eye on a Euro 2020 spot.
The 17-year-old is England’s third-youngest senior international ever and made his competitive debut on the bench when San Marino won.
Bellingham is having a great season at Borussia Dortmund and recently shone in their Champions League game against Sevilla.
“The only disappointment for Jude is that he doesn’t play in front of 80,000 fans in Dortmund every week which would be another amazing experience,” Southgate added.
“But we saw in his matches with Sevilla a level of performance and commitment that really made us think: ‘We want to help him develop now under our orders“. ”
Foden: Another year to prepare will help young players
Manchester City’s Phil Foden appreciates the chance to capitalize on an extra year of development to play for England in the European Championship – but knows his place in the squad is yet to be secured.
Foden, 20, also made his England debut in September and opened his international account with a brace in a Nations League victory over Iceland two months later and believes the young players from the team will benefit from the extra year they have had to prepare for the reorganized Euro. 2020 Finals.
“It gave us that extra time to play in our clubs because we are obviously all very young,” he said.
“So maybe that helped us get the opportunity to come in now.” It appears to be the case. I hope we win the league and maybe a few more trophies this year.
“It would give me the confidence to continue and be in the England team for sure. Trying to get as much experience as possible and you have to play games to gain experience so I try to keep playing in the biggest games I can and keep improving my game.