Heaton focussed on crucial run of games

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton insists the Clarets won’t switch their focus despite a pivotal cluster of fixtures closing in on them.
Focussed: Tom HeatonFocussed: Tom Heaton
Focussed: Tom Heaton

Sean Dyche’s side tackle QPR, Crystal Palace and West Brom at Turf Moor in the coming weeks as well as Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

But following on from an exhilarating 3-3 draw with managerless Newcastle United at St James’ Park on New Year’s Day, the 28-year-old declared that their attention now moves to the FA Cup third round tie with Spurs on Monday.

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“Week in week out there are big spells in the Premier League,” he said. “The last four games have been three away games and one at home against what you would think are top six teams. It’s always going to be tough.

“We’ve applied ourselves really well and we’re unlucky not to come away with a bit more, so we can take that forward and it’s constantly about developing and getting better and if we can do that then we can take it into these games and give it everything we’ve got.”

Heaton added: “Of course it is a good chance (to climb out of the bottom three). We won’t change how we go about it. We try not to look at it in games and how many points do you want from the next four games. We just look at what is directly in front of us and it does simplify it for players.

“You don’t get sidetracked with that distraction. It’s what is right in front of us. At the minute it’s Tottenham in the FA Cup and we will try and win it. After that we will look at the next fixture. I know it sounds ridiculous but that’s how we go about it and it has worked well for us so far.”

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Heaton reflected on results against champions Manchester City and the Magpies with pride, stating that the two points gained epitomised the belief, character and resilience within the squad.

The Clarets recovered from a two-goal deficit at the Etihad to shock the title-holders before earning the same reward against Newcastle having fallen behind three times while suffering an array of injuries and hitting the woodwork four times.

Heaton believes those experiences and the attributes conveyed will be pivotal in the club’s fight for Premier League survival.

“It’s great credit to the squad,” he said. “We do believe in the squad we’ve got and we trust each other, that’s what the manager always talks about. Players doing it right off the pitch at the training ground and it counts on days like today and I thought the lads who came in were absolutely outstanding.

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“It’s important the lads stay organised, part of my job is to do a bit of that organising. Other than that it’s no different. We trust in each other and it’s important we keep doing that. It’s about getting the organisation right when things are happening left, right and centre.

“That word resilience is certainly in abundance and it’s going to be an important factor through the season. We can build on that and it can add to that belief and confidence that we’ve already got a lot of and we can draw on those experiences.”