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Heaton Praises Clarets Collective

24 October 2016

Tom Heaton praised the collective effort of the Clarets as they bounced back from defeat at Southampton to become only the second team to beat Everton in the Premier League this season.

Only Heaton’s heroics in goal prevented a heavier loss to the Saints in an uncharacteristic performance from Sean Dyche’s side in their previous game.

But Burnley were back to their competitive best against the Toffees at Turf Moor on Saturday, when Scott Arfield’s last-minute strike gave the Clarets a third home league win of the campaign.

Arfield’s opening goal of the season came on his first start since mid-September, while there was also a first league start since promotion for winger Michael Kightly in the absence of injured midfield pair of Steven Defour and George Boyd.

And with James Tarkowski, Jon Flanagan and Patrick Bamford all coming off the bench late on to help grab the three points, Heaton was happy to share the plaudits around as Burnley continued their solid start to the season.

The Clarets’ captain said: “Kights and Scotty came into the team and I thought both of them acquitted themselves really well.

“Scotty got his goal and he was busy all afternoon, defensively and offensively, and Kights was exactly the same. 

“Coming into the side having not played for a long time, I thought he was excellent. He put some good balls in and positionally he was excellent.

Celebration time after Scott Arfield's late winner against Everton  

“I’m really pleased for those two and on top of that the three subs coming on, Flanno, Pat and Tarky. It’s tough, with the pace of the game.

“It’s on a knife edge at times and I thought they did really well because that really is a challenge. I was really pleased for the full squad because it shows everyone’s ready to come in and do the job.

“We were very disappointed with how we went about it last week. We sorted that out and moved forward into this game and I though we went about it really, really well.

“I thought we played some really good football, but more importantly we showed that heart and desire which are the backbone of our performances.”

Saturday’s result lifted the Clarets up to 14th place in the table as they took their points’ tally into double figures ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Manchester United.

Ben Mee helped the Clarets restrict Everton to a solitary goal from Yannick Bolasie

And Heaton – looking forward to facing his former club at Old Trafford – believes Burnley are becoming battle-hardened as they look to learn from their Premier League experience of two years ago and stay among the elite.  

He added: “We spoke about it in pre-season. It took us to our 11th game last time to get a win. It’s got a different feel this time.

“The naivety has gone, if you like. We know the job it’s going to take and I think we have shown we can more than cope and we’ve gone about it really well.

“There are times when we haven’t done but we are going to learn from those and it’s really exciting at the minute. 

“You can feel it in the stadium. The fans were fantastic again and you can just feel that passion and enthusiasm.”

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