Tom Heaton: There shouldn't be any limitations on where Aston Villa can go this season

Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton believes that there shouldn't be any limitations on where the club can go in the Premier League this season.

Villa are back in England's top-flight after a three-year absence following their success in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final back in May.

The club spent big in the summer as they brought in reinforcements, with Wesley, Tyrone Mings and Douglas Luiz all commanding £15m+ fees.

Heaton also made the switch as he joined from Burnley and has established himself as the number one choice at the club; playing every single minute of their Premier League campaign so far.

With Villa sitting 15th in the Premier League standings, Heaton believes that the club shouldn't restrict themselves when it comes to possible achievements this season.

"We don't like to limit really where we can go," he said.

"You look at it game-by-game and you're going in to get results, get wins and get points on the board.

Tom Heaton denies Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew
Tom Heaton denies Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew

"At the minute, there's no set target other than the obvious one. The first priority is to stay in the division of course.

"But beyond that I don't think there should be any limitations to it. It's certainly turned out to be a tight league this year; there shouldn't be a restriction on how far we could go.

"There will be challenges along the way but if we hit them head-on then who knows. We'll certainly look to take that forward.

"So we'll take it game-by-game and see where it takes us."

The club were guided back to the Premier League under the guidance of Dean Smith - a boyhood Villa fan.

Smith secured promotion in his first season having replaced Steve Bruce in October 2018; a remarkable transformation from a side struggling in mid-table to one challenging at the right-end of the standings.

Following that positive Sky Bet Championship campaign, Heaton admits that the Villa boss was a big factor in his decision to sign for the club.

Dean Smith hands out instructions to his Villa players
Dean Smith hands out instructions to his Villa players

"I've really enjoyed working under Dean so far. He's been really, really good," he stated.

"Having spoken to him a couple of times over the phone, when I was signing, he was clear in his ideas and I really enjoyed that.

"Obviously, he's got an attacking philosophy which I think you've seen so far this season.

"He said to me at the time that he wants to go and take the Premier League on, he doesn't want to sit back and be wary of it, he wants to go into every game looking to get the result and again I think you've seen that, which is great.

"There's a real clarity from his tactical ideas, clear on how he wants to play so it's been superb so far and I'm thoroughly enjoying it."

Villa face a tough test against Liverpool next, a side who are now odds-on to win the Premier League title as they hold a six-point cushion over Manchester City at the top.

The West Midlands side lost 3-0 to City in their last contest, and Heaton is under no illusions to how difficult the clash with the current leaders will be.

"They're widely regarded as the two best teams in the league and we’re playing them back-to-back," he continued.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring against Tottenham at Anfield
Liverpool currently top the Premier League standings

"That’s what the Premier League is all about. There’s no fear, there’s no worry there at all, just a hunger to go and embrace the games and look to put our stamp on the games and go and try and get a result.

"We know it’ll be tough, we know how much quality they’ve got and they are both great sides but these are the teams we want to go up against."

Following the games, Villa's players will be in a better position than most to form an opinion on which way the title race will go, with Heaton admitting that he's leaning towards the side in red for success at the current point in the season.

"It's difficult to say right now," Heaton added.

"Both have been excellent over the last couple of years, Liverpool have started stronger but there’s an awful long way to go. They’ve both got immense quality.

"City are struggling at centre back which could be hampering them, at this moment you’d edge towards Liverpool but it’s still very early and looking back over the last couple of years, you write Man City off at your peril."

Tom Heaton was talking at a media event for his Precision Infinite Heat Gloves, part of the Precision Heat range, designed alongside the Aston Villa and England goalkeeper.


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