Clarets skipper hoping for further taste of England duty

Tom Heaton is eager to add to his first England cap under Sam Allardyce.

Friday, 22nd July 2016, 6:00 am
Tom Heaton comes on for his England debut

The Clarets captain earned his first call up last May by Roy Hodgson, and made his first appearance as a late substitute in the 2-1 win over Australia at Sunderland ahead of Euro 2016.

The 30-year-old was in the 23-man squad in France, and, back in the Premier League with Burnley, having signed a new four-year deal this week, Heaton wants to put himself in the new national boss' thoughts, with Allardyce expected to take over the Three Lions officially today.

Heaton said: "They seem to have done an awful lot of background.

"From my experience with the FA, they put a lot into things, they will do it right and look at everything.

"If Sam gets it he’s fantastic candidate for the job and probably fully warrants it.

"It’s fantastic for him and it will be interesting going forward."

Jack Butland's return to fitness means increased competition for the imminent start of World Cup qualifying, and Heaton hopes his club form will get its rewards: "We all know the script, it's a clean slate, the manager comes in and will look at things fresh and clean.

"Everyone has a clean slate and I will be concentrating on my performances and doing what I can with that.

"In the grand scheme of things you don’t try and impress, but that comes from performing on the pitch; That's how you make the impression, it’s important to focus on that rather than trying to do things.

"If you do the right things with performance the rest looks after itself."

Heaton got three minutes at the Stadium of Light, but despite an all-too-brief appearance, pulling on the shirt meant the world: "It was incredible, it was fantastic.

"Playing for England was something I’d dreamt of as a boy and something I’d always looked to do.

"Going out on loan and dropping down a little bit it felt a long way away, but it’s something I never lost sight of.

"To finally do it was fantastic and it just makes you want more."

The man who made that happen left his post after the Euro 2016 exit against Iceland, and Heaton said of Hodgson: "I have massive respect for him. He was the manager that got me involved in the first place and then kept me involved.

"He gave me my cap and I can’t thank him enough. I’m very grateful for that.

"It was disappointing how it ended in terms of the Iceland game but it’s football and that can happen.

"It was fantastic for me."