Heaton happy to see Clarets give their all

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton warming up prior to victory over Championship leaders Hull City at Turf Moor
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton warming up prior to victory over Championship leaders Hull City at Turf Moor

Skipper Tom Heaton feels a willingness to put bodies on the line will give the Clarets the advantage in the race for promotion.

Sean Dyche’s side kept out the Championship’s leading scorers at Turf Moor at the weekend, with a 1-0 triumph over table-topping Hull City securing an 11th clean sheet of the campaign.

Striker Sam Vokes proved to be the match winner in a tight affair against the Tigers, beating Allan McGregor in the 77th minute after the Scottish stopper had initially failed to deal with Joey Barton’s drive.

“It’s a big one, we’ve been on a good run and building momentum,” said Heaton. “It was a big win in tough conditions against a tough team.

“They’ve shut up shop a bit in their recent form away from home and we thought they’d do that again.

“They did and tried to catch us on the counter but we dealt with it really well, dealt with the conditions, and added a bit of quality at the end and it showed through.”

While the visitors were restricted to just three shots on target, Heaton was himself forced to put his own body on the line on a couple of occasions.

The 29-year-old saved at the feet of Abel Hernandez after the £9m forward was threaded through by Robert Snodgrass in the second half while he threw himself at the ball to prevent the Uruguayan capitalising on a slip from Stephen Ward’s back pass.

The England international added: “It’s brilliant. The lads have been defending superbly well of late. They’ve been doing it all season but especially of late. I thought that was on show again.

“The willingness to put bodies on the line, head in the way, most teams aren’t willing to do it all the time but we are. That’s what makes us tough to beat; that framework and the system that we stick to.

“Even if they’re having a good patch of play, like Hull did for 10 or 15 minutes after half-time, we don’t give anything away easily.

“If teams are going to score then they really have to break us down and that gives us a great foundation in the game. Then law and behold we go and win it and come away with three points and a clean sheet.”

The former Manchester United trainee, who has earned four successive call-ups to Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions set-up, believes everything has started to click since defeat to Steve Bruce’s men on Boxing Day.

Since that 3-0 loss at the KC Stadium, Burnley have taken 17 points from seven league outings.

“The basics were always there, we showed it in glimpses, but it’s really clicked of late. That’s been really pleasing.

“On top of that we’ve kicked everything on with it. The defending has been superb, we’ve scored a lot of goals, it’s been brilliant.”