Bruce - Heskey best of his type

Latics chief lauds striker's qualities

Heskey: Impressed for England

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Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce remains convinced that Emile Heskey is the best striker of his type in the country.

Heskey started his first game under England coach Fabio Capello on Wednesday night when leading the line in the 4-1 victory over Croatia.

The powerful forward impressed in the 2010 World Cup qualifier, with his performance coming 12 months after he partnered Michael Owen in back-to-back Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Though the Latics ace has only recently returned to international favour again, his club manager has no doubts about Heskey's ability.

Absolutely delighted

"I don't know how long I've been saying it, I feel like a long-playing record," Bruce told Sky Sports News.

"Of his type he is still the best in the country - that has been proved again last night and was proved again when England needed him 12 months ago when he came into the team.

"I just hope it doesn't happen what happened last time when he had one start for England and, unfortunately, then broke a bone in his foot.

"I think it was one of the big turning points for Chris Hutchings' season. He lost Emile for three or four months.

"Somebody like him for this club is very, very important, so I'm very, very pleased with what he's done. We're all absolutely delighted."