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Heaton Praises Collective Spirit

10 April 2017

Tom Heaton praised the Clarets' collective desire after they kept Middlesbrough at bay to collect another precious Premier League point.

Burnley went close to a first away win of the season with chances either side of the break at the Riverside Stadium.

But ultimately a world-class save from Heaton to deny Boro subsitute Alvaro Negredo and another resolute defensive display ensured a ninth clean sheet of the season and a 0-0 draw which saw Sean Dyche's climb to 12th place in the table.

Heaton's reaction save in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate was right out of the top drawer but the Clarets' skipper was quick to share the praise.

Heaton said: "I had a fairly quiet afternoon. It was bits and pieces and it's about your concentration to make sure you're ready when required.

"I could see the ball coming and see that it was going to go over Keano so you turn and get ready and thankfully it was within distance to get the arm down and keep it out.

"These moments are important but I have to say 'massive credit to the boys.'

"There were probably six other moments I could mention - Matt Lowton dropping onto the line for the free-kick, I remember a Stephen Ward block, Ben Mee, Michael Keane.

"There's bodies on the line, heads on the line and as a team that's we do.

"The manager talks about it a lot. With a lot of clubs I've been at it maybe goes a little un-noticed but here it's valued. It's valued very highly and I think we do it as well as I've seen.

"And today I think it's a big reason why we got a point."

Brady hit the crossbar with a first-half free-kick before putting an effort just wide in a gripping second half, which saw Lowton clear off the line twice in a matter of moments from Stewart Downing and Daniel Ayala.

The result did little for Boro's survival hopes but lifted Burnley eight points clear off the relegation places with six games to go.

"Again it was another game of fine margins. We had a few chances and they had a couple of decents chance as well," Heaton added.

"But all-in-all a very good point and a good clean sheet away from home.

"I'm absolutely delighted. I think that's nine now for the season, so I'm really pleased with that and hopefully there's a few more to come.

"We try not to get too distracted by the big picture. We always look at what's right in front of us.

"We are looking upwards, albeit the nature of the division requires you to be aware of what's going on and to increase that gap this weekend is important."

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