Skipper Heaton deserves an England cap says Duff

Michael Duff feels Turf Moor skipper Tom Heaton will have more than earned his first international cap should the Clarets goalkeeper feature for England against Australia.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 27th May 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 27th May 2016, 2:08 pm
Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton
Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton

The fixture at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light is the penultimate friendly ahead of the European Championships in France though the 30-year-old has yet to feature for the Three Lions.

Roy Hodgson called Heaton in to the squad for the 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland almost 12 months ago but he hasn’t moved off the bench in 11 outings.

The former Manchester United trainee, who kept 20 clean sheets as Burnley were promoted to the Premier League last term, was included in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

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Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton

“Tom’s been brilliant,” said Duff. “I know much making the Euros means to him. Me and Tom have quite a bit of banter because I generally hate goalies, but if you watch highlights from the Football League show you’d see so many goals where you can blame the goalie.

“Over the last three years I can think of maybe one or two where you look at Tom and think you could have done better there. Over 100 to 150 games that’s some achievement.”

The new Academy coach added: “He does everything well. He makes good savers and he doesn’t make mistakes, it’s brilliant knowing you’ve got someone steady behind you, you always know where Tom is going to be and his communication is excellent. He’s been brilliant for this football club.”

England will round off their preparations for Euro 2016 against Portugal on Thursday, June 6th at Wembley.

Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton

From there, having flown to France, they’ll tackle Russia on June 11th at Stade Velodrome, Wales on June 16th at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens before rounding off their Group B qualifying campaign against Slovakia on June 20th at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Ètienne.