Newcastle United star reveals what he’s excited to experience for the first time against Everton
Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe described weeknight matches under the lights at St James’s Park as ‘special’.
For summer signing Nick Pope (as well as Sven Botman), Wednesday evening’s match against Everton (7:30pm kick-off) will be his first experience of one as a Newcastle United player.
The Magpies have won all four of their evening kick-offs at home in 2022, including a 3-1 win over Everton back in February. And Pope hoping to build on Sunday’s goalless draw against Manchester United when they welcome The Toffees to Tyneside.
“I'm looking forward to playing under the lights at St James's,” he said. “It's always a great occasion and I'm looking forward to that game coming.
"There's still a very good feeling in the group and a good feeling coming to [Old Trafford] which is probably why there [was] a slight disappointment in the end result.
"But I've still got that good feeling now and we'll take that into Wednesday and like I say, with the home fans, it'll be a good occasion I'm sure.”
Heading into the match, Newcastle are on 15 points with the best defensive record in the division after 10 matches.
United have the same number of points heading into Wednesday’s game as they did when they last hosted Everton, 22 games into the campaign.
“It's better than the start I had last year [with Burnley] and obviously the start here as well,” Pope added. “Obviously we'd like to turn some of these draws into wins, that's something we'll look at. But a positive last few results for sure and a positive start to the season.”
Looking ahead to the match, head coach Howe attempted to describe the feeling of evening matches at St James’s.
“I don't know how to describe it,” he said. “There's a different feeling with the night games, there is an even more, I have to pick my words carefully, an aggressive but positive feeling and I think we thrive off that aggression from the crowd and we want and crave that really because we want to show that energy and passion to win.
"I think the crowd have really given us that in the evening games and hopefully it will be another special one against Everton.”