Heaton relishing Spurs fixture
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is hoping that the hectic schedule of fixtures over the festive period will give the Clarets an edge.
The 28-year-old admitted that adapting to the sparcity of games in the Premier League may have stunted the club’s start to the campaign.
Sean Dyche’s side had played 20 times at this stage last year in the Championship with four Capital One Cup outings thrown in for good measure.
And with five games in 16 days on the horizon, starting with Spurs at White Hart Lane at the weekend, Heaton said: “I probably prefer the games coming thick and fast. So Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday is probably better.
“It’s something else we’ve had to handle with the games being spread out. Maybe that was certainly something we had to get used to, you’ve got a week to put it to bed then get ready for the next game. So there’s a mental side of that to get used to, but as a squad we’ve turned a corner on that and we’re embracing that now.
“It took a little bit of getting used to at the start of the season with the Premier League games being a bit more sparse than the Championship. We were used to doing a little bit less training and playing a lot more games.
“We had to get our heads round that a little bit with there being a bit more time to think about it. There’s a lot of games in a short period of time in the Championship, obviously there always is over Christmas, but hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”
Heaton, who saved Dusan Tadic’s spot kick in victory over Southampton last weekend, admits to being a fan of Spurs stopper Hugo Lloris but won’t be adopting the Frenchman’s unconventional style of goalkeeping.
“I’m a massive fan of Hugo Lloris. He’s come to the Premier League and done a fantastic job and given a different angle as he’s always on the front foot and looking to help out the back four.
“The ‘sweeper-keeper’ sort of thing has become more evident in previous years - there was Manuel Neuer in the World Cup and certainly Hugo is a great exponent of that.”
He added: “It’s something you try and add in as a keeper but if you get it wrong you’re in trouble. You’ve got to get your decisions right and the top end of goalkeeping is all about decision making and he gets it right a lot of the time.
“Hopefully you won’t see me tackling people on the half way line, otherwise you know I’d have got it wrong!”
Ahead of the clash with Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who are fresh from a 4-0 Capital One Cup quarter-final win over Newcastle United, Heaton confirmed that he’s relishing the challenge.
“It’s tough but I personally can’t wait,” he said. “It’s another fantastic opportunity for everyone, this is where you want to be and it’s what we want to be competing against.
“It’s a first for me. I don’t think I’ve even been to White Hart Lane before. There’s not too many I’ve not been to this year, so I’m looking forward to it.
“We expect to get a result and we’ll set about it to win the game. It would be a scalp if we could do it but we won’t be thinking of it like that.”