Clarets will fight to seal title says skipper

Skipper Tom Heaton says Burnley's band of brothers will stand together to fight for the Championship title with just eight games remaining.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 10:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 11:26 am
Pointing the way: Tom Heaton

The Clarets suffered a slight set back in their final game before the international break when Danny Batth cancelled out Sam Vokes’s opener in stoppage time to steal a point for Wolves.

The away side’s equaliser came just moments after news had filtered through the stands at Turf Moor that Carl Baker had missed a penalty for MK Dons in their clash with promotion rivals Brighton which would’ve levelled the game at 2-2.

However, Heaton is looking at the situation with perspective as the Clarets sit four points clear at the top of the table having gone 15 games unbeaten.

Still smiling: Tom Heaton

“It’s exciting, it’s where we want to be,” he said. “We’re top of the table with eight games to go. We’d have snatched someone’s hand off 15 games ago for that position. We’re going to make the most of that and do what we can to seal the deal.

“We’d have snapped their hands off 100%. That’s how we’ve got to look at it.

“There’s excitement building in to the last eight games, we’re looking forward to doing the job, and we can’t wait for it to be on us.

“That enjoyment of standing up and being a part of this together is great.

Still smiling: Tom Heaton

“We had a minor kick in the teeth with the late goal but that’s part and parcel of football. You’ve got to embrace that and look to go again.

“It’s football at the end of the day and it’s not all going to go your own way, certainly not in a promotion race in this division. The bigger picture is that it’s another point on the board.”

Baker’s failure from the spot, following the Seagulls’ unsportsmanlike tactics, combined with Batth’s late header was a blow for Sean Dyche’s side but Heaton has warned that there’ll be more twists to come in the title race.

“There’ll be plenty more big moments to come so it’s about how we handle them at the time and the reaction to them which will be important. There’s going to be plenty of that sort of stuff.

“There’ll be plenty of big moments to come over the final eight games but the focus has just got to remain on us. I try not to get sucked in to watching anybody else around us.

“The important thing is that we concentrate on our job and get that right. We don’t want to get involved in things happening elsewhere that we can’t control.”

Heaton added: “Sometimes, especially in football, depending on the circumstances, you can get sucked in to the doom and gloom a little bit.

“The bigger picture is that we’re unbeaten again and it’s a measure of how far we’ve come.

“There’ll be no glum faces about; we’ll be back and ready to go.

“We’ve got a few days away on a training camp now which we’re looking forward to.

“It’s nice that everyone is going together, aside from the international lads, and it’ll be a hard week training so that we’re ready to go again.

“We’ll use it well. I’m sure there’ll be a few down days for the lads but the manager will put some good fitness work in for that final push.

“It’s perfect timing and we’ll all be chomping at the bit come that next game at Brighton.

“It’s a big game and one that we’re looking forward to. They’re obviously a decent side at the top end of the table but we’ll be focussing on ourselves and looking to go there and get a win.”