PREVIEW: Leicester City vs Bristol City
BRISTOL City goalkeeper Tom Heaton has been assailed by leaks on all fronts this week.
Since arriving from Cardiff in the summer, the former Manchester United man has had his work cut out plugging the gaps in a porous Robins defence that has shipped 17 goals in nine Championship outings.
But that is nothing compared to the deluge that awaited the 26-year-old and his wife when they returned home to their South Bristol home recently to find it completely flooded!
A burst pipe was to blame and Heaton and his other half, unable to stay in the property they had only recently moved into, had to be hurriedly relocated in a nearby hotel.
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City officials are helping the couple find alternative accommodation and Heaton, pictured, is at least now able to smile about the situation.
He told The Post: "I'm on the receiving end of all kinds of jokes about leaks at the moment and the other lads have had a bit of fun pulling my leg. But the club have been brilliant and have put us up in a hotel while we look for somewhere else to live.
"It was quite a shock when we found water everywhere. It was running down the walls and you could not see the floor.
"Of course, it is not ideal and it disrupts you, but we had important games against Leeds and Millwall and you cannot allow what is happening at home to distract you from your job.
"It was difficult, but I had to stay properly focussed and make sure I was able to do my job for the team."
Heaton's domestic problems will no doubt be resolved in time, but there appears no end to the flood of goals City are conceding right now and the Cheshire-born keeper would love nothing more than to be able to keep a clean sheet.
Injuries and loss of form have exacerbated the issue and manager Derek McInnes will again be forced to press a makeshift back four into action against high-flying Leicester at the King Power Stadium tomorrow.
But Heaton insists it is overly-simplistic to blame the defenders alone and insists the Robins must make collective improvements if they are to stem the tide of goals against them.
He admitted: "It is frustrating when you are conceding a lot of goals, no matter what level of football you are playing at. From my point of view, it is something we need to put right and quickly. It's not great when the ball is flying past you and you are picking it out of the back of the net.
"It's not just the back four and the goalkeeper, it is the whole team and defending starts at the front.
"We are conceding too many goals because of defensive mistakes and I have to take just as much responsibility as everyone else.
"If I could have done something different or affected others, then that is something I have to look at."
Manager Derek Mcinnes has been unable to select his back four of choice in recent weeks. Greg Cunningham is a long-term absentee, while George Elokobi's loan spell was cruelly terminated by serious injury just 40 minutes into his debut against Leeds last week.
But Heaton refuses to make excuses, arguing that those players currently available to the manager should be capable of doing the job themselves.
He added: "I don't think we can blame it on not having a settled back four. Our main aim now has to be to improve defensively and try and keep a clean sheet. We're fine at one end of the pitch and have shown we can score goals."