Skipper Heaton hails Robbo's influence

Clarets skipper Tom Heaton believes working with Paul Robinson has 'added another dimension' to his game.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 12:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:29 pm
Burnley's Paul Robinson during the pre-match warm-up Photographer Andrew Vaughan/CameraSport The Premier League - Hull City v Burnley - Saturday 25th February 2017 - KCOM Stadium - Hull World Copyright © 2017 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] -

Robinson joined the Clarets as a free agent in January 2016 as back up to Heaton, and is currently in talks with the club over a new deal.

And while the former England keeper ended the season as third choice, with Nick Pope promoted to the bench – and Robinson passing on information from the stands.

Boss Sean Dyche explained: “Robbo was in the stand and came down with some information. He’s been in the game a long time and understands it.

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“There’s great value to having someone like him about.”

And Heaton clearly feels exactly the same.

He has enjoyed picking the brains of the former Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur man, who earned 41 caps for his country, and made made 372 top-flight appearances – keeping 86 clean sheets.

Heaton said: “He’s been brilliant, incredible.

“Working closely with him, he’s been outstanding in training, and for me, having someone that’s been there and done it at the level he’s played at, 40/50 England caps, played in the Premier League pretty much all his career, he’s been great to bounce ideas off, as well as Billy Mercer, who I have a great relationship with.

“It’s just added another dimension and I’m delighted to work with him.”

One aspect of Heaton’s game which Robinson has noticeably had an influence on is his kicking, and he explained: “I’ve been creeping into the opposition half!

“Running past players to take them. Not sure how long that will last!

“It’s something we’ve spoken about, under (Sam) Allardyce they did it a lot (at Blackburn Rovers), he gave me a lot of insight into how they did it, making it tough for the opposition.

“But across the board he’s great to bounce ideas off. Thoroughly enjoyed working with him.”

Robinson filled in for Heaton on three occasions in the Premier League, against Manchester City, Stoke and Swansea, but the captain still finished with the most saves of any keeper in the top flight.

But Heaton modestly shared the credit for that with the tight defensive unit in front of him: “They’ve been outstanding, the back four in general.

“Someone told me I’ve had the most saves in the league, but they’ve all been straight-forward, through the middle and straight down the line.”