Clarets skipper Heaton having season of his life

Clarets skipper Tom Heaton admits he is enjoying the season of his life, after earning his second England cap on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 10:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th November 2016, 3:18 pm
England's Tom Heaton and Spain's Jose Reina after the International Friendly at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 15, 2016. See PA story SOCCER England. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/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.

Heaton came on for Joe Hart at half-time against Spain at Wembley, having made a brief debut in May in a pre-Euro 2016 warm-up game against Australia at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

An extended taste of international football was just reward for the 30-year-old, who has been statistically the Premier League’s best performing keeper so far this season.

And while he was beaten by an unstoppable curler from Iago Aspas, before Isco forced an injury time strike through his legs to earn Spain a 2-2 draw, the experience left Heaton on a high.

Asked if he is having the best season of his life, he admitted: “I think so, I think that’s right.

“I really enjoyed it out there, I felt great.

“The scuffed last goal that went in was frustrating, the scuffed ones are the hardest to keep out. Frustrating how it panned out but overall really pleased.”

He had to be patient for more game time after his summer cameo against the Socceroos, and he added: “Yeah I enjoyed it, obviously it was a little bit more than last time

“I’ve wanted to get some more time on the pitch and thankfully I’ve had that.

“It’s frustrating the way the game finished having played some good stuff and contained things really well. To lose two late goals is disappointing but we shouldn’t go away from the positives.

“There’s things to work on and look at but we’re pleased with aspects of the performances.

“Once the dust settles and we look back on tonight I think there’ll be a lot of good stuff to take out of it and, as ever, things to work on.”

Interim boss Gareth Southgate looks likely to land the role on a permanent basis, and Heaton has been impressed with how he has taken the step up from the Under 21s: “I think he’s done a fantastic job, we’ve had some good performances and some good results.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing under him, as have all the players, I think he’s put himself in a great position.

“No-one really knows what the situation is, he’s done all he can and from my point of view he’s been fantastic to play for and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with him.”