Clarets captain on his first return to Bristol City...Tom Heaton says he is looking forward to his first trip back to Bristol City ahead of the weekend’s Sky Bet Championship clash.
The England international goalkeeper impressed during his one season at Ashton Gate, but was unable to prevent the club being relegated to League One.
But he reflects on his time there as a positive experience, that also ultimately helped him in moving to Turf Moor.
He said: “Obviously I signed here from Bristol City and it’s my first time back so it’ll be nice to go back.
“They’re trying to move the club forward. There are very few players there since I left just two and a bit years ago.
“I think three of the younger lads, Wes Burns, Bobby Reid and Joe Bryan are but other than that there aren’t many faces the same.
“I signed there in strange circumstances as I signed for the gaffer when he was at Watford. Then the takeover happened, he left, my deal got ripped up and I ended up at Bristol City.
“The city is crying out for a team in the top end of football and when I was there that was the idea. That was the feel around the place but it didn’t out that way and it spiralled into a difficult year where we got
“I enjoyed my time there and it was a very good club. It was obviously a touch frustrating that it didn’t quite happen on the pitch but without that I wouldn’t be here and I’m very happy here.”
New club-record signing Andre Gray comes into the reckoning for a debut against Heaton’s former employers.
There is now a plethora of competition within the squad, particularly in the striking department, and that is something which the skipper feels can only benefit the club moving forward.
“It’s great because as players you want quality coming in to move us forward and add competition for places.
“I’m delighted Andre has come through the door as with everyone else that’s come in and we’re very pleased.
“He had an excellent season with Brentford last year and looks very quick and strong. I think he’ll fit in really well and score a lot of goals for us.
“The competition keeps everyone pushing their own personal boundaries. That’s what the club needs and hopefully everyone does that.”