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Forty Points 'A Nice Place To Be'

Captain Tom Heaton praises Clarets' resolve as Burnley reach landmark

22 April 2019

Tom Heaton was left feeling fabulous at 40 as the Clarets all but secured their Premier League place.

Only an avalanche of goals and maximum points for Cardiff City – as well as multiple results for Brighton and Southampton – can deny Burnley a place in the top-flight next season following a dramatic 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

First-half goals from Jeff Hendrick and Ashley Barnes – either side of a quick-fire double from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain – stretched the Clarets’ unbeaten run to four gamesd.

And Heaton couldn’t disguise his satisfaction at the way Sean Dyche’s side kept the Blues at bay to secure the result they needed to effectively guarantee safety.

“Those second-half performances, when we’re on the back foot, they’re my favourites,” said the Clarets’ captain, who was a rock-solid presence in goal behind Burnley’s outstanding back four.

“I enjoy those. Coming here and getting a big point and that 40-point mark is a nice place to be.

“I thought we kept our shape brilliantly and the work ethic of that team and the attitude to keep going and keep going is enjoyable to play in.

“When you see lads giving everything they’ve got and coming away with a brilliant point is just a good one all-round.”

Chelsea needed win to enhance their hopes of finishing in a Champions League qualification place.

And despite getting the point they needed to move back into the top four – for the time behind at least – the frustration at not being able to break Burnley down was evident in a fractious final few minutes on and off the pitch which saw Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri receive his marching orders and a clash of bodies at the mouth of the tunnel on the final whistle.

“As the game wore on we did didn’t offer too much attacking-wise but sometimes you have to accept that,” Heaton told Clarets Player HD.

“They’ve got match-winners all over the pitch, so it needs to be balanced.

“We just managed the game through. I think it was well within the rules of the game, what was going on.

“A couple of the lads obviously after a big shift were going down with cramp, nothing more than that.

“It’s an emotional game and tempers run high, but I thought we managed that really professionally and came out with a really good point.”

From looking in serious relegation danger at the half-way point of the campaign, the Clarets have put together a magnificent escape plan since Boxing Day night.

Twenty-eight points from 16 games is the best return from any side outside the top four and left Burnley in 15th place with three games to go.

“It was a difficult first half of the season. We all know that,” added Heaton.

“At the time, 19 games in and 12 points it’s difficult.

“You probably don’t realise what you’ve still got left to do at that point.

“We’ve obviously been on a fantastic run and we’ve not been flying away from everyone.

“There have been moments when we have needed it and, thankfully, we’ve stepped up to the plate and now it’s about how far we can finish up the table and how high we can get.

“It’s been brilliant.”

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