GOALKEEPER Nick Pope has revealed he would be "delighted" to return to York City next season if he is not wanted by parent club Charlton.

City boss Nigel Worthington has already stated that he would like to sign the 21-year-old net-minder on a permanent basis but Pope still has two years to run on his contract at the Valley.

The Soham-born shot-stopper would relish the opportunity to play more first-team matches next term having only made his Football League debut for the Minstermen in mid-November.

But admitted too that the Championship club will call the shots when his plans for 2014/15 are under review this summer.

Pope said: "I have thought about coming here next season but I think that decision will be out of my hands really with two years left on my contract at Charlton. If they want me, then that's their right.

"If they don't, then I would be delighted to come to York, but the off-season will be the time to look at that. We have got a massive six games before then and Charlton have got a massive eight games left too, so I'm just pushing everything else to the back of my mind and concentrating on doing the best I can."

Charlton's Championship survival prospects received a significant boost this week following a 1-0 win at Leeds and Pope added that he has held talks with new Addicks boss Jose Riga but nothing was mentioned concerning his career in South London.

"We did not talk about my future," Pope said. "They are in a relegation battle so they don't know what division they will be in, but the manager seems to be doing well. When I spoke to him, with his little bit of English, he also came across as a good bloke.

"He just told me to keep doing what I am with the clean sheets and, then, we will look at things at the end of the season."

Charlton's current reserve keeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien refused to make the midweek trip to Elland Road, meanwhile, prompting Riga to ask the Football League whether Pope's loan spell could be cut short to allow him to warm the Addicks' bench.

That approach was rejected with injuries cited as the only valid reason for a recall and Pope was relieved having earlier been hailed back to London when Ben Hamer was crocked just two games into his first spell with City.

The 6ft 5in, number one added: "I didn't feel great when I heard about the inquiry. I thought 'oh no, not again' and got a sense of deja vu, so it was an happy outcome for me.

"I was disappointed when I was recalled last time and I am delighted to still be here because I wouldn't have had a say in whether I wanted to go back or not. They don't ask you, they just tell you."

Pope is now free to focus on an away meeting with top-of-the-table Rochdale and reasoned that a positive result at Spotland will leave the Minstermen's five remaining opponents feeling fearful.

"Everyone is up for it," Pope said of tomorrow's game. "We have not played one of the top-three teams since we got beaten 2-0 by Chesterfield, so we want to put that right and lay down another marker, as we have been doing during the last month when we have kept winning games.

"Teams like Oxford and Southend will be looking at our results and saying 'oh no, they've won again' and we want to keep putting as much pressure on them as we can. If we go there tomorrow and get a good result, we will be the team nobody wants to play.

"The table does not lie at this time in the season but we are top of the form table and they are second so we will go there confident and I am thoroughly looking forward to a great game."

City are also now just two clean sheets short of the consecutive record for shut-outs in all competitions, shared by mid-1980s keepers Roger Jones and Mike Astbury, with Pope keen the current team can take their place in the record books.

He is quick to point out that this run, though, owes as much to the efforts of striker Ryan Bowman as it does to a back five that have shipped just two goals in 11 matches since being teamed together.

"We have definitely got to go for it," Pope said of the record. "It's all about ticking the games off one at a time and six has been such a great achievement.

"It's helped us go up the league because we have only had to nick one goal to win games, whereas other teams are conceding and needing to get two or three to win a match. We have done well as a defensive until and not just as a back five.

"The forwards deserve credit for chasing things down and stopping things coming at us from up front. People like Bowey coming back at set-pieces has also been important.

"He's a big header of the ball and helps us out a lot."

Match facts

ROCHDALE are City’s most frequently met opponents over the years and this will be their 52nd Football League visit to Spotland.

In the series they have won 21 times at this venue with seven draws and the biggest triumphs have been 6-3 in 1933/34 and 4-1 in 1932/33.

They have won on their last three League trips 1-0 in 2002/3, 2-1 in 2003/4 and 3-2 last term when Michael Potts (2) and Jason Walker were on target.

The line-up on December 1, 2012, was: Ingham, Parslow, Smith, Doig, Fyfield, Potts (Challinor), Kerr, McLaughlin (Oyebanjo), Blair, Walker (Reed), Chambers.

Players who have appeared for both clubs include Graeme Crawford, Gordon Morritt, Billy Rudd, Joe Ashworth, Jimmy Seal, Chris Jones and Shaun Reid.

It happened on April 5

1952: In front of the smallest home crowd of the season 4,229 City beat Workington 5-1 in the Northern Section.

The scorers were Alf Patrick (2), Billy Fenton (2) and Gordon Brown.

1980: Substitute Jimmy Walsh scored both goals in a 2-1 home win over Hartlepool United in the Fourth Division (League Two) watched by 2,711.

1986: Keith Walwyn (2) and Tony Canham netted in a 3-1 home victory against Newport County in the Third Division (League One).

2008: City crashed to a 6-1 defeat at Crawley Town in the Blue Square Premier.

Martyn Woolford was the scorer of the Minstermen’s consolation goal.

Compiled by David Batters