Heaton embraces underdog label

Upbeat: Clarets keeper Tom Heaton
Upbeat: Clarets keeper Tom Heaton
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Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is ready to embrace Burnley’s ‘underdog’ tag in the Premier League.

Rather than becoming enshrouded in the pessimism and doubt that’s been aimed at Sean Dyche’s side this term, the 28-year-old stopper is focussed on building on the club’s start.

The Clarets have already been written off as relegation certainties by various ‘experts’ in the industry having failed to win any of their opening seven fixtures.

However, after taking their tally to four points with a 2-2 draw against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, Heaton said: “I think we probably expect that to be honest, there’s been a bit of that all season but we need to just focus on what we want to do and how we want to go about it and then build from there.

“I think if we play like we did on Saturday and go about it in that manner we’re going to give ourselves a great chance.”

The one-time trainee at Manchester United, who joined Turf Moor from Bristol City in May last year, believes that the Clarets are showing the necessary traits to adjust to life in England’s top tier.

Last season’s Championship runners up responded impeccably to the 4-0 thumping against West Brom at the Hawthorns to take a point against the Foxes having pulled back a goal deficit on two occasions with a severely depleted starting XI.

“We went about it in the right way on the back of a big defeat,” Heaton said. “We wanted to get back to the mentality we go into games with. We’ve learned a few lessons from last week, trying to stay in the game and give ourselves the best possible chance. I think we did that.

“Every game in the Premier League is going to be tough so on the back of a result like the one at West Brom you need to find something within and I think we certainly did that.

“The way we went about it was much better and even going a goal down then 2-1 down we still felt we had the right character and mentality to get back in it. I think we showed that last year and we certainly showed it on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Heaton praised the talent and technique of winger Ross Wallace after the Scot rescued the draw against Nigel Pearson’s men with a delightfully exquisite free-kick deep in to time added on.

“It was a fantastic free kick, it was the sort of quality you need to get back into the game,” Heaton said. “To do it at the time we did was obviously brilliant for us and gave us a lift. We probably needed it going into the international break so I was delighted for him and the rest of the lads.

“He’s got great ability and to come off the bench and impact the game like that was fantastic. He’s got a lot of ability Rossco, he’s a great finisher so it was no surprise to us.”

Ahead of fixtures against West Ham and Everton at Turf Moor after the international break, Heaton added: “There are a lot of positives and we’ve got three home games in the next four now. Obviously it’s a run of games we can look forward to.”