‘Burnley’s a team that’s going places’ - Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson last played for local rivals Blackburn Rovers
Paul Robinson last played for local rivals Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson admits he had no qualms in crossing the divide from Blackburn Rovers to Burnley.

The former England keeper spent seven years at Ewood Park, before leaving in the summer, and he was brought to Turf Moor on Tuesday as cover for Tom Heaton until the end of the season.

The decision hasn’t gone down well down the M65, with former Rover David Dunn joking on Twitter: “Just spoke with Robbo ! Good luck to him ! The other options were Nelson or Colne Dynamoes so fair play”.

Dunn then asked old teammate Michel Salgado for his opinion, with a picture of Robinson signing his deal, and Salgado said: “No way, I can’t believe Paul is signing for that team”.

Robinson smiled: “Obviously there’s been mixed opinions! I spoke to Dunny yesterday in the car on the way home. He phoned me the day I signed and I tried to phone him back and it just went straight to answerphone. I thought he’d blocked me. But I spoke to him on Wednesday.

“For me personally, I was out of the game and it doesn’t seem to me that I’ve made a cross, as such, to rivals, but obviously it is.

“My time at Blackburn was done. It wasn’t my decision to end my time at Blackburn. I had good and bad times and I wish people well there; there’s a lot of good people at the club.

“But for me, now, I’ve joined a new ambitious club, a new chapter in my life and my career and I’m just looking forward to the future.”

Robinson joins David Jones and Michael Keane, who both played for Rovers on loan in 2014, at Turf Moor, and he admitted: “It’s nice. It’s a good dressing room. I know a few of the boys but the camaraderie of the dressing room is very good - there’s a good team spirit here.”

And the 36-year-old intends to help play a part in getting Burnley back to the Premier League: “I think we’re looking to achieve promotion.

“The lads are on a great run at the moment and hopefully we can continue that and look towards the Premier League.

“With the team up in third in the league and the string of results that we’re putting together, it’s a team that’s going places.

“I sat with the manager for an hour or so. Just to listen to him and his ambition and the way that he conducts himself I was very impressed. I knew it was the right thing to do straight away.

“The last few results have put us right up there and I think we’ll be looking towards the automatic towards the automatic promotion places.

“The quality’s here, the strength in depth here, and the manager has definitely got the ability to get the best out of the players he’s got.”

Robinson has trained wig Nottingham Forest and taken on some media work since the summer, and is itching to get back on the training ground and, potentially, in the first team: “For me it’s just nice to be back in.

“There was a time when I was enjoying the time off and then I started missing the day-to-day interaction.

“I wanted to give it another go, because at my age if I wanted to try again in three years’ time I’d have probably missed it, so I thought I’d get myself fit and put the gloves back on - I wanted to get fit before I put the gloves back on - and I wanted to come back in at a good level.

“I went to Nottingham Forest and trained for a month or so there, Dougie (Freedman) was brilliant to me and let me train with the first team on a day-to-day basis and I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.

“The opportunity came up to come here and it was one that I couldn’t refuse.”

The former Spurs keeper will inevitably come in for some stick at Arsenal in the FA Cup tomorrow, but he is delighted to be back on that stage: “It was early November when I decided to have another go and started to hit the gym hard and getting fit, I didn’t envisage I’d be at the Emirates come the end of January.

“But it’s great. It’s fantastic. For me to get the buzz back for playing again there’s nowhere better.”

And he has one eye on a certain date in the calendar, the return derby with Blackburn: “The 5th of March is it?

“I’m looking forward to it. They’re always great occasions and great games and hopefully it is.”