Clarets skipper Tom hoping for a repeat

Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton

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Clarets skipper Tom Heaton is hoping history repeats itself at Turf Moor tonight.

Two years ago on Sunday, Burnley produced one of the best performances of Sean Dyche's tenure as they beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at Turf Moor - a key result on the road to promotion.

Victory extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, and the Clarets look to emulate that tonight against Forest, after compiling their equal-best run of the season to date, going nine league games without defeat since Boxing Day.

Forest were 14 unbeaten in the league two years ago before being blown away by a first-half masterclass, and, curiously, Forest saw a 14-game unbeaten league run ended at home to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Heaton remembers the game back in 2014 well, as Burnley flexed their muscles in the promotion race: “It was a good game. It would be nice to do that again, I have to say.

“It was a very good performance that day.

“It was about that time when people started to ask questions: ‘Can we do it? Will we fall away?’.

“But I think those sort of games started to prove what we were capable of, and tonight is no different.

“We’ll try to go about it in the same manner and try to come away with the win.”

Two years ago, people outside the club were expecting Burnley's challenge to falter.

This time around, expectation levels are vastly different, with the Clarets among the favourites from day one.

Heaton admits that doesn't affect the dressing room mentality: “Externally it’s probably been different, internally it hasn’t changed at all.

“Everyone’s a couple of years wiser, all the players that were here. We’re a bit more experienced.

“We try to derive our own expectations really. We try to do things properly and reach as far as we can.

“We only look one game at a time but we put that together and over a period that always stands you in good stead.

“We try not to look too much into the outside expectation. Being in the Premier League last year we all know that expectation will be there, but it still doesn’t change the fact we’ve got to focus on the game in hand.

"Expectations are just that. Our job is to put the substance to it and do the job as best we can.

“At the minute we’re on the right path."

There is much to draw from the promotion campaign two years ago, and Heaton added: “There are obviously similarities to it. It’s fresh in the mind - it wasn’t long ago.

“I think we can use that in a positive way really.

“Obviously the game’s evolved, the team’s evolved, the whole place has evolved. But you can still draw on those experiences to stand you in good stead.

“The majority of the players in that dressing room have been there a couple of years ago and know what’s required; know how to do it.

“There’s a long way to go yet, there are never any guarantees, but we can certainly use that in a positive way.”