Paul Robinson has heaped praise on his former teammate Tom Heaton after the Aston Villa goalkeeper made his long-awaited return from injury yesterday.
The former England number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hailed the 34-year-old’s resilience to bounce back from a “really hard injury” last season.
Heaton has not played since New Year’s Day after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a 2-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.
The 3-time England international made his return to action on Monday, playing 63 minutes of a 2-2 draw against Burnley for the club’s under-23s.
Robinson revealed that Heaton, who he played with at Burnley, has all it takes to get back to his best.
“It has been a really long time for Tom and a really hard injury for him to recover from,” he told Football Insider.
“I know Tom very well and if anybody has the determination and the desire to live correctly off the field, train right and cope mentally it is Tom. He is a credit to himself and a credit to his profession.
“I hope we see him back playing in the first team sooner rather than later.”
The Villans bolstered their options between the sticks with the £20million addition of Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal in September.
The Spanish shot-stopper, who penned a four-year contract at Villa Park, has kept four clean sheets in his seven Premier League appearances to date this season.
In other Aston Villa news, Gabriel Agbonlahor names two never-seen teens as future first team stars.