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Hegeler loving life at the back

Jens Hegeler is enjoying his new role in the City backline, but insists playing as a central defender is not unfamiliar territory.

The tall German partnered Bailey Wright against Barnsley on the opening day of the Sky Bet Championship season and kept his place alongside Nathan Baker in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

The former Bayer Leverkusen man has brought his own unique style to the position with his relaxed approach to bringing the ball out from the back – perhaps an uncommon trait in the EFL.

“That’s just the way I play the position,” Hegeler told BCTV. “Sometimes it can be a good thing, but sometimes you can lose the ball in a good position for the other team.

“It’s a fine line, but so far I think it’s worked quite well.

“It’s a different style of football in England compared to Germany, but it depends what the gaffer wants and depends on the tactics of the team.

“I’ve played in this position quite a lot in Germany so I’m used to it. I like it; when you have three games in a week, it can be easier from a physical aspect to play as a defender rather than in midfield.”

Hegeler scored his first City goal in the 5-0 demolition of Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

“It was uncommon,” he admitted. “I hadn’t scored at all for Bristol City; the last goal I scored was three seasons ago.

“I think someone else touched it on the way so I have to admit there was a bit of luck, but I’ll take it. It was a nice feeling and it would be nice if it happened more often!

“It makes it easier when you feel like everyone else on the team is working hard to get success. That’s what we’ve had in the last two games and we need to keep it up.”

WHAT HE SAID

“I’ve played in this position quite a lot in Germany so I’m used to it. I like it; when you have three games in a week, it can be easier from a physical aspect to play as a defender rather than in midfield.”

Jens Hegeler

City have been totally dominant at Ashton Gate, scoring eight goals in two games, but now face their toughest test to date at Birmingham City tomorrow (3pm).

Hegeler is convinced the City supporters have played their part in the team’s blistering early season form and wants more of the same on the road.

“The support of the fans in the last two games has been incredible and I think it makes a difference that the fans (the singing section) have switched to the corner,” he added.

“Before the Barnsley game when we had our warm-up, the emotion that came from those fans had an impact on me and the rest of the team. I hope a lot of supporters come to Birmingham.”

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