Tom Heaton feels his development has been aided by working alongside some of Manchester United’s most esteemed goalkeepers.
Sean Dyche’s summer signing, 27, has inherited a number of distinguishable attributes from his Old Trafford role models - none more so than his vociferous, commanding nature on the field - similar to Edwin Van Der Sar.
“It’s something that I worked on as a kid just to have a presence on the pitch,” said Heaton. “If you can have a quiet day in goal then your job has been done. If you can organise the people in front of you and deal with things before it happens then that’s as good as making a top corner save.
“It might not feel like it but it effectively is. I’m not sure some of the lads like it at times but they’ll have to get used to it. I’m in the best position to do it and I’ve seen a number of people over the years have different ways of doing it. Edwin was the same in a slightly different way and you’ve got to find your niche. Everyone’s on board and it’s worked really well so far.”
Heaton is excited by the prospect of making himself known - and heard - to fans tomorrow ahead of his debut in the early Championship kick-off against Bolton Wanderers.
“It’s been a very good pre-season and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said.
“Every time you come to Turf Moor it’s a bouncing atmosphere, it’s always been superb. I’m looking forward to getting started with it being the Football League anniversary and on top of that it’s the first game of the season plus it’s a local derby. It just adds to the mix and it’s one of those games you want to play in. The most important thing is we get a win.
“There’s certainly an excitement brewing. It’ll be a tough game but I look around our dressing room and there’s a lot of quality there. We can come out on top.”