Tom Heaton: Warm-weather training trip to Portugal will help Clarets grow even stronger
Burnley captain Tom Heaton feels the warm-weather training camp in Portugal can only help strengthen the bonds within the squad.
Sean Dyche took his players out to the Algarve 12 months ago during a window in the calendar having gone 10 Premier League games without a win.
The group returned from that five-day break completely rejuvenated and went on to clock up 16 points from six games in the top flight.
Form isn’t an issue for the Clarets this time around after a 3-1 win against Brighton at the Amex Stadium secured a record-breaking seventh game unbeaten in the PL.
But with just three points separating them from Southampton in 18th position, Heaton is keen to get away to do some team building.
“We went last season and had a good week so I think the plan is to go there and do the same again,” he said.
“We train hard, it’s 24/7, a bit of warm weather training out on the grass, gym work, when you’re out there you can get some really good stuff in.
“When there’s no game at the end of the week it allows you to push the boundaries a little bit. I’m sure there’ll be a bit of that next week.
“The scientists will tell you, with the warm weather, there’s a lot of benefits to it. You’re with each other 24/7 so you see a lot of each other.
“When we’re there there’ll be a few extra-curricular things to do as well, it’s a really tight unit. We’ll put some good work in and enjoy that time together.
“They help massively. You can use that to your advantage, you need that togetherness. We’ve been through it before, we have good relationships, good bonds.”
Cardiff City’s last minute winner against the Saints, scored by Kenneth Zohore, changed the complexion of the division considerably as the Clarets slipped back in to the bottom three.
However, according to Heaton, the result didn’t impact on the Clarets psychologically ahead of kick off in Falmer.
“We tried not to be aware of that,” he said. “Somebody heard the news that Cardiff had won but we made sure that stayed low key.
“The focus has got to be on ourselves because there’s a long way to go and anything else only serves as a distraction. It was a really good performance and an excellent result.
“If you’re not careful it can derail you a little bit so we try to stay focussed on the job in hand.
“I was aware of it, I heard while we were in there, but as soon as anyone else spoke about it they got short shrift to keep it quiet. We have to concentrate on the job, that’s important.”
The Clarets skipper was in phenomenal form against the Seagulls, denying Solly March and Pascal Gross on a couple of occasions each.
The man of the match, nominated for January’s Player of the Month award, which was won by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, acknowledged the importance of his interventions but refused to analyse his display too deeply.
He said: “It’s good. I try and make saves and you tend to know how good it is from the reaction of your own players, without knowing yourself.
“At that moment in time you’re just standing there and trying to react, not give anything away and make yourself difficult to beat.
“I try and just be clear in the moment and in the present and save what I can. I get in the right position and get after things. It’s as simple as that and I like that simplicity.”