Emile Heskey thrilled to be back in the English game

Striker delighted with his start to life with Wanderers following his debut goal against Rovers

Having notched his first goal in Bolton colours within 15 minutes of his introduction to the club's faithful, Emile Heskey admitted his delight at marking his return to English football in the perfect fashion.

Coming on a half time substitute in the Boxing Day clash at Macron Stadium, the striker’s 60th minute effort cancelled out Josh King’s earlier opener for the visitors, with Darren Pratley’s strike three minutes later ensuring Wanderers ran out winners over their local rivals.

Speaking to the club following the final whistle against Gary Bowyer’s side, Heskey said: “It was great to be back, to dust off those cobwebs and get out on the field again.

“It’s taken a bit of time to get used to the English weather again having been over in Australia for the past two years, but football is all about the variety and different climates, so I’m really enjoying myself.

“It’s great to have local derbies – these are the kind of games that you come into football for really. It was a real cauldron of noise, and it was nice to get an important goal in such a big game too.

“Blackburn are a good passing side who are full of enthusiasm – first half they probably edged it a bit, but overall it was probably even with the chances that we had. We were just lucky that we took ours.”

Linking up with fellow recent signing Eidur Gudjohnsen for the Whites’ equaliser, the 36-year-old paid tribute to his teammate and praised the calibre shown in the assist he created.

“When you’ve got players like Eidur who have done it for years, who have played at the very top of the game, their ability is clear to see,” he explained.

“He can see a pass that other people won’t, but all you’ve got to do is make the run and he will find you.

“That’s all I did, and it is always nice to get the little ones and the tap-ins at the far post.”

Returning to the English game for the first time in over two years having last turned out for Aston Villa in the Premier League, Heskey hopes that his stint at Macron Stadium will prove to be a fruitful one for both Wanderers and himself.

“The game is getting quicker, but experience will always be important to it,” he said. “The manager has never said that I’ve come to the club to light up the field like I’m 17, but I’ve still got something to give to the team, both on the pitch and to the younger lads as well.

“I think it is so important for us more experienced heads to pass on our knowledge, because we can ultimately help others to develop.

“That said though, the manager is installing a lot of self-belief into the players and you can see that with the kind of performances they’re putting on whilst out on the pitch.

“It’s clear to see that the players are showing their true potential, so the sky is the limit.”

He continued: “Sunday at Huddersfield is going to be a difficult game, but they’re all difficult games in this league – it’s the Championship and these are the elements that we’ve got to play with.

“We’ll get recovery in, but then we’ll go again at Huddersfield and hopefully get the win.”
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