Gilks is up for the challenge

New face: Matt Gilks signed a two-year deal on Wednesday
New face: Matt Gilks signed a two-year deal on Wednesday

New signing Matt Gilks admits he will have a battle on his hands to displace the man he feels was the best keeper in the Championship last season.

But the 32-year-old feels competition for places with Tom Heaton will only benefit Burnley’s bid for Premier League survival.

Gilks signed a two-year deal on Wednesday, after coming to the end of his contract at Blackpool, and the Rochdale-born Scotland international said: “I know there’s a strong goalkeeping pool here and Tom was absolutely fantastic last season.

“I’m surprised he didn’t make the divisional team - he’s been a massive reason why Burnley are in the Premier League, so I know it’s going to be tough.

“But I think in the Premier League you need competition for places and if I can keep the lads here on their toes and between us we help keep the club in this division, then that’s what it’s all about.”

Gilks had interest from elsewhere, but once Burnley showed their hand, things moved quickly: “The move here is something that was mentioned at the end of last season.

“I was out of contract at Blackpool and they did offer me a new one via text message, which was strange.

“I think I wanted to move on anyway, I’ve been there for six years and had three brilliant years there under Ian Holloway. What we achieved was fantastic, but I realised I was due for a change and probably the club did too.

“I spoke to several other clubs but recently I got a phone call asking about my availability and things quickly escalated from there.”

Gilks was relegated with Blackpool from the Premier League in 2011, a year after Burnley suffered the same fate, and he added: “Burnley and Blackpool have followed similar paths in recent years and I went through what Burnley did there.

“Unfortunately, neither club could stay there more than one year in what is a very tough league.

“But hopefully Burnley can stay there this time. I know the club well, “I’m familiar with the place and I don’t live too far away, so the locality is great for me.

“I’ve excited to get going.”

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