Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Paul Robinson happy to get back on the bike for Burnley

Burnley goalkeeper Paul Robinson loved his return to the Premier League
Burnley goalkeeper Paul Robinson loved his return to the Premier League

Burnley goalkeeper Paul Robinson slipped seamlessly back into Premier League life after a four-year absence on Saturday, insisting it was "like riding a bike".

Robinson had not played a competitive game since September 2014 and last experienced Premier League football a whopping 1,664 days before being summoned to replace the injured Tom Heaton against the might of Manchester City.

City may have taken the points, two poached finishes from Sergio Aguero outweighing Dean Marney's wonderful volley, but 37-year-old Robinson acquitted himself well and kept the score down to 2-1 with a series of saves.

The former England man almost gave up after falling out of favour at Blackburn but was drawn back in by Burnley, where he has spent 10 months diligently awaiting a chance.

"It's like riding a bike. It's two years since I played a competitive game, four years since a Premier League game but I made the first save and it was like 'that feels really good'," he said.

"I just enjoyed it. It was a no-lose situation for me. We weren't expecting to do anything and I personally wasn't expected to do anything.

" When I made the decision to come back, I couldn't envisage I would get the chance to play in the Premier League again.

"Things have gone really well. I have got myself fit, got myself in a condition that I wanted to be in and to be given the chance to play today is the icing on the cake for me."

Robinson is at the stage of his career where he is happy to play a support role and accepts he is merely keeping the gloves warm for Heaton, whose ever-present streak of 142 league matches since joining the Clarets was broken by a calf problem.

"When Tom gets fit he's coming back in because he is in excellent form," said Robinson.

"He's the club captain and he's doing really well. My job is to hold the fort while he's away to the best of my ability, which is what I'm doing."

For City, it was a potential banana skin averted.

Burnley have already beaten Liverpool at Turf Moor, were desperately unlucky not to take a point from Arsenal and even beat City on their previous visit two years ago.

So three points left Fernandinho in buoyant mood about the team's prospects for the season.

"f you want to be a champion, you have to play a game like this," he said.

"I think that is the spirit you need. We expected a physical game. We analysed Burnley before and saw they play long balls and play for the second ball and they scored their goal like that - but we turned it around and fortunately we scored two goals and won."

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