Heaton hoping for England call

Tom Heaton during the training at St George's Park, Burton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2015. See PA story SOCCER England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.
Tom Heaton during the training at St George's Park, Burton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2015. See PA story SOCCER England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.

Skipper Tom Heaton has dual goals this weekend - to win at former club Bristol City and retain his place in the England squad.

Burnley are at Ashton Gate looking to build on their first win and clean sheet of the season, while in the back of his mind, Heaton knows Roy Hodgson’s panel for the European Championship qualifiers with San Marino and Switzerland is named on Sunday.

Heaton received his first senior call up for the last squad in June for the friendly with the Republic of Ireland and qualifier with Slovenia.

But, now outside of the Premier League glare, he hopes his form in the Championship will be enough to remain in Hodgson’s thoughts.

Heaton said: “I’ve no expectation really. I really enjoyed it last time I was there. Of course I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t holding out hope to be involved.

“But the main focus for me will be performing on Saturday and whatever happens I’ll keep trying to perform and get better.”

Burnley had conceded six goals in their first five games before beating Brentford 1-0, although Heaton wasn’t overly employed, as he said: “We started the season with a couple of draws and a defeat so we needed to get that first win under our belt, which we’ve done, and 1-0 is a great way to do it so hopefully now we can build on that and take it into the Bristol City game.

“It’s a touch frustrating to concede a few goals prior to that because I think we have looked very solid, which is good.

“That solid base in the game gives you a real good foundation and foothold to go and win football matches, which is what we want to do.

“Obviously scoring goals wins you football matches, we all know that.

“It’s often seen as the toughest thing to do, which I’m sure is right. But in terms of building a foundation in the game and a foundation to go and get results and being a successful team, I’m a big believer in that coming from being defensively solid. And by that I don’t just mean the back four and the keeper, I mean the whole unit really.

“This manager sets that out from the front and it’s important everyone gets that right, and that gives us that foothold in the game to go and play some good football and score some goals.”

Heaton was relegated from the Championship in his solitary season at Ashton Gate in 2012/13, but has fond memories of his time at the club: “Unfortunately we got relegated that year but I actually really enjoyed by time at Bristol City.

“I signed on the back of signing for this manager when he was at Watford. Unfortunately it didn’t materialise for whatever reason so I ended up at Bristol City with hopes of looking at the top end of the table.

“We were looking for a play-off push perhaps, but it didn’t materialise. It ended up being a tough season and we were relegated.

“That was obviously frustrating. On the pitch it was tough at times but it was a good test.

“But I certainly enjoyed my time there, it’s a fantastic club and a great part of the world to live.

“I’m delighted to see them back in the league and looking like they’re moving in the right direction.

“It’s crying out for a team at the top end of football.”

He added: “Every club I’ve ever played for you certainly have some form of affinity for them and there is no different.

“It’s a source of frustration that the season ended how it did but overall I did enjoy my time there.

“I’m looking forward to going back and hopefully getting a result for Burnley.”