Heaton draws on positives from Old Trafford defeat!

Tom Heaton
Tom Heaton

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton has heaped praise on his team-mates after their display against 20-time Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Despite the 3-1 defeat, the 28-year-old believes the players can take great heart and belief from the performance that severely restricted Louis Van Gaal’s side midweek.

“They deserve massive credit, obviously the result is not ideal but to come here and play like that at Old Trafford, a lot of the lads’ first time playing here, massive credit, I just think it’s important that we use that going forward,” Heaton said.

“We won’t be fearing anyone, we’ll crack on and keep trying to get results.”

Focus had centred on the ‘long ball or long pass’ debate ahead of the fixture at the Theatre of Dreams, with the Clarets topping the table with 1,877 long passes and United second with 1,861.

Heaton didn’t go as far as Van Gaal to refute those claims by presenting a dossier, but felt the Clarets were incisive, intricate and methodical throughout.

“We do try and play mixed football but there was probably a bit more playing today,” he said.

“We try to just mix up our game, we don’t go one way or the other, we try to mix it and I thought we did that really well.

“We went in behind a few times in the first half, probably created a bit more room in front and that’s probably where you saw a lot of good play.”

But, ultimately, it was a case of the good, the bad and the ugly for Sean Dyche’s side as defeat left them slumped in 19th position.

While Danny Ings scored a stunning equaliser in front of the famed Stretford End, United defender Chris Smalling condemned the away side to their 15th and 16th goals conceded this term from headers. Robin Van Persie was then able to extend United’s lead from the spot after Scott Arfield tripped Angel Di Maria.

“It was another disappointing one but there were a lot of positives to take forward, I thought we were excellent really, in the first half we played some really good football,” said Heaton.

“Then obviously it was a bit of a killer blow conceding just before half time but we’ll knuckle down, crack on and keep pushing to do the right things.

If we play like that we’re going to give ourselves a great chance of winning games.”

Heaton added: “It certainly felt quiet at my end for the majority of the half, the main thing for us is the conceding late on in the half which can be a bit frustrating but we knuckled down again and got going in the second half and created a few chances. If they go in you never know.

“It’s obviously disappointing, we’re working hard to try to put it right, it’s just important we keep trying to do the right things, these things do crop up, frustrating though it is and it’s important that we all try to take responsibility and try to deal with it.”