NICK Pope's journey from Burnley's number two to a World Cup semi-final is 'off the scale'.

That is the view of the Clarets' goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer, who has seen Pope follow Tom Heaton into the Three Lions side on his watch.

Heaton's dislocated shoulder opened the door to Pope last September and the 24-year-old took his chance, earning an England call-up with a string of fine displays.

The journey will continue for Pope tonight as England face Croatia in Moscow with a place in Sunday's World Cup final on the line.

“It’s been an unbelievable 12 months for Nick and the football club. He came in when Tom was injured and to end it with an England cap and go to the World Cup is just off the scale,” Mercer said.

"We’ve all been watching how England have done and to cap it off with a final and maybe even a win would be absolutely fantastic.

"Nick has had to be patient and I’m sure it would have been really difficult to leave Joe Hart behind, given what he has done, but you have to pick people on form and his inclusion was justified.

“It’s the same for Tom, because he was just coming back to fitness, so to get both of them training with England before they flew out to Russia was fantastic."

Both Heaton and Pope have now been capped by England during their time with the club and Mercer added: "That’s testament to the boys really and how they have worked over the past few years.

"Tom has been with us over the last five years, but Nick has only been with us for two and had to be patient, but has impressed us all behind the scenes.

"I’ve spoken to him a few times and he can’t believe what’s happening. He’s in a bit of a whirlwind and it’s an unbelievable experience.”