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Heaton Aims To End Solskjaer Run

Clarets' captain relishing challenge of facing former team-mate

29 January 2019

Tom Heaton believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has got what it takes to continue his success as Manchester United’s stand-in boss.

But the Clarets’ captain will be doing everything possible to bring to an end his former team-mate’s perfect start at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Heaton and Solskjaer were squad members together under Sir Alex Ferguson at United in the final few years of the Norwegian’s trophy-laden playing career.

Solksjaer also worked with Heaton and some of the club’s young players as reserve-team boss as he laid down the foundation for a subsequent coaching career, with those qualities now coming to the fore as United’s interim manager.

And Heaton isn’t surprised with the impact the former striker has made in over-seeing eight successive victories since replacing Jose Mourinho just before Christmas.

“He’s a very good guy in terms of how he is, and he was excellent with me on a personal note,” said the Clarets’ goalkeeper, whose United career extended three years beyond Solskjaer’s initial stay to 2010.

“But there’s certainly a strength in there that’s required for the job and he’s probably got that.

“I am absolutely delighted to see him doing so well.

“I think he’s brought that little bit of history and United tradition to it, that fresh impetus and a bit of positivity and it looks like the players have responded to it.

Heaton kept out everything United could throw at him two seasons ago

“Sometimes that change can have that effect. They are on a great run, but we are looking forward to the game.”

Six of Solksjaer’s wins have come in the Premier League as United’s players have galvanised themselves for a belated top-four push.

But Heaton insists the Clarets aren’t heading to Old Trafford – where they have drawn on their last two visits – merely to add to that number as they look to extend their own unbeaten four-match run in the league.

“I can’t wait to go back there, as ever, and for me, it’s an opportunity for us,” added the England international, who produced one of his finest performances in a Burnley shirt to keep a clean sheet at United in October, 2016.

“We know what we’re about and we look to get a result. By that, I mean win the game.

“Of course it’s going to be tough, of course it’s going to be difficult, but we think we’ve got it in us to produce that and that’s what we will be looking to do.”

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