Wood coming to right place to develop - skipper

Chris Wood
Chris Wood

Burnley captain Tom Heaton feels striker Chris Wood is coming to the right place if he wants to develop his career.

Wood is expected to complete his record move from Leeds United tomorrow, in a deal worth £15m plus add ons.

The New Zealand international underwent a medical today, and is in line to make his debut in the Carabao Cup tie at League 1 neighbours Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night.

While Burnley can't offer the sort of wages other Premier League, and, indeed some Championship clubs can, Heaton pointed to the success the club has had under Sean Dyche, and the progress of players such as Kieran Trippier, Michael Keane, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Heaton himself.

The skipper said: “Everything’s geared around players improving, players getting better, maximising performance.

“That’s something the manager and staff work on a lot. From the moment you walk through the door every day, it’s geared towards that.

“It’s no surprise to us really [that that’s happened]. Talking to new players coming in over the years, it might not be the case at a lot of places.

“It’s certainly a good environment to be in and one that a lot of people excel in. If it is him, and he does get through the door, I’m sure it’ll be the same.”

Wood scored a screamer past Heaton for Leicester in a game between the Championship’s top two three years ago at Turf Moor, and Heaton smiled: “Did he score a rocket past me a couple of years ago for Leicester? Is that what you’re trying to get at? [Laughs] If it is him, he had a fantastic season last year.

“One thing I can say is that every player loves the culture we’ve got at the football club. That environment we’ve set certainly gives everyone a base to get better and develop. If we get him in, it will be a very good addition, and we hope he will be pleased with what he sees.”

And Heaton is happy to see more quality additions before the transfer window closes: “It’s coming to that point where the madness happens in the last part of the window. It’s always quite an interesting time as players. I’m sure they’re talking about additions to add to that strength in depth we’ve got. We’re delighted with the squad we’ve got at the moment, but any additions of course will be welcome.”

Meanwhile, he was frustrated not to take at least a point against West Brom on Saturday after a 1-0 defeat: “It’s tough. We know how they’re going to play.

“They’re going to set up and be difficult to break down, as they were, and try to catch you on the counter, and they’re always going to be dangerous at set-pieces.

“We knew the drill, and I thought we handled it really well. We put our stamp on the game and played some really good football.

“We mixed it really well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the finish and then got done with what feels like a bit of a sucker punch. It was very disappointing.

“It’s still raw at the moment. It’s still hurting a little bit. But once the dust settles, there are a lot of positives in terms of our performance and a lot of markers we can use as the foundation to build on.”

Particularly pleasing was the brand of football, with a more patient approach: “Yeah, it’s something we try to add in. It’s something we’ve highlighted.

“We’re looking to add that our game. We still want to mix it, of course, but I think it was a good example of how we want to play.

“We’ve got some very good footballers in the team. I think that was on show. So yeah, it’s just frustrating at the moment, that we didn’t come away with more, because it feels as if we deserved it.”