Late goal tough to swallow - Heaton

Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton

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Skipper Tom Heaton conceded that Arsenal’s contentious late winner in the Premier League fixture at Turf Moor was a tough one to accept.

The Clarets were heading for a point against the Gunners until Laurent Koscielny diverted substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s strike in to the net with his hand from an offside position deep in to stoppage time.

“I was diving after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot,” said the England international goalkeeper.

“I was going up for the volley and then it’s hit his (Koscielny’s) hand and come down and I couldn’t land quick enough to throw a leg at it. I was reacting to his shot.

“I don’t want to stand here bemoaning it because these things happen and hopefully these things will level themselves out. It’s a sickener to lose it in that fashion after being so good for 90-odd minutes.”

Heaton added: “It’s hard to swallow because it’s still raw at the minute, especially with the way that we went about it. I thought we had some fantastic chances as well.

“It’s not been a ‘park the bus’ performance; I thought we played some good stuff.

“Obviously they had some sustained pressure at times, which they were always going to have with the quality that they’ve got, but I thought we handled that really well.

“We also got them on the back foot at times and had some good chances of our own. They’re a top team but we were excellent today.

“We got the performance bang on so it’s tough to take when it probably shouldn’t have counted. To lose it like that - it’s tough to take.”

Sean Dyche’s side were excellent throughout, in every department, and restricted their opponents to very few sightings of goal.

While Heaton had a solitary save to make - denying Alexis Sanchez in the second half - the hosts arguably crafted the better openings.

Sam Vokes missed the target with a free header in the opening 45 minutes, Johann Berg Gudmundsson tested Petr Cech after the break before Michael Keane struck the crossbar from a corner delivered by the Icelandic international.

Heaton feels that once time has allowed the wounds to heal, the squad will be able to take plenty of heart from their display.

“At the minute it’s still very raw, especially after how we went about it, but I think once the dust settles on it a little bit we’ll take a lot from it,” he said.

“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the league, we’ve defended well and attacked well at times, and we’ve restricted them.

“It was a quiet afternoon for me; I think I’ve had one save from Sanchez and a fingertip save from Walcott.

“Other than that it’s been very quiet and the lads have defended really well from the front.

“We went about it superbly well. We’ll take an awful lot of belief and momentum which is something that we’ve been looking to build on.”

Ahead of the international break, Heaton added: “We’re learning all the time and we’re improving all the time and today was another highlight of that.

“Our defending today was superb and that foundation that the team is built on has always been a key factor for the manager.

“That starts with Vokesy up top and he’s worked tirelessly again today. The pleasing thing is the transition in to building some offensive play.

“That was one of the best things we did today against one of the top sides. I thought we had some really good pieces of play at the top end of the pitch, kept the ball well and created some openings.”