Eddie Howe addresses Newcastle United goalkeeping decision as Martin Dubravka fights to keep jersey
Pope, signed from relegated Burnley in a £10million deal, started yesterday’s 3-0 win over 1860 Munich in Austria.
Martin Dubravka, the club's No.1, came on for the second half at the Saalfelden Arena, where Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Bruno Guimaraes were on target for Howe’s side.
Howe has also brought Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie to Austria, and United's head coach was asked after the game if one would leave before the transfer window closes.
“I like all of them,” Howe told the Gazette. “I’ve got no complaints with the quality. I think we’ve got an outstanding group of goalkeepers.
"I think ... whether we keep four goalkeepers at the end of pre-season, or the end of the transfer window, I don’t know at this moment in time. I think we’ll have to see what happens.”
Dubravka’s agent suggested earlier this month that he would look for a “option B” for his client should he no longer be first choice at Newcastle.
Howe took 29 players to Austria, and 18-year-old Jay Turner-Cooke has since been added to the club’s tour squad.
Asked if he foresaw anyone leaving from the group between now and September 1, Howe said: “Probably not from this group, no.
"We’ve taken the players feel are going to be involved, and we’ve also got a couple of young players within the group, and their futures will probably be decided a bit later on in the pre-season schedule.
"I think we’re going to need to carry a squad with the amount of games we’ve got in a short period of time. With the congested fixture period with the World Cup, it’s a different year. We need to be prepared for all eventualities.”
Howe must decide whether to loan out 19-year-old Elliot Anderson, who played 45 minutes against 1860.
"I thought he was probably the biggest bright spark we had during that first half, which was a difficult one for us,” said Howe. "I've been really impressed by him. He's quite quiet within the group, but is a very steely, determined lad who wants to do well. We really like."