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Points make prizes for Burnley FC keeper Heaton
9:00am Saturday 22nd February 2014 in Sport
NINETEEN games without a league defeat at Turf Moor, only three defeats in the last 31 home and away, and unbeaten against the Championship’s top seven so far this season.
The statistics make impressive reading for second placed Burnley.
But Tom Heaton knows there is only one that will count tomorrow: three points.
“As you look at it in the cold light of day we’ve got an unbelievable record – especially 11 months unbeaten at home.
“It’s a fantastic achievement.
“But it bears insignificance really when that whistle blows.
“It might add a bit of confidence and a bit of belief before the game – perhaps even during the game – and, yes, it’s something to hang on to.
“But it’s not something that we ever think about. If a goal goes in or we go 1-0 down people aren’t gutted that the record’s going to go, it’s about winning the game.
“I think it’s important to approach it in a way that you’re looking for three points, and get the win, and going all-out to do that.”
That’s not to say Heaton and co don’t appreciate the run they’re on.
“Our record’s very good. Three defeats in 31 is fantastic.
“If we can continue what we’ve done and perhaps step it on again, the world’s your oyster.
“If we can replicate something along those lines, that’s fantastic,” said the goalkeeper.
“But it’s been a big part in our success to just totally focus on what's in front of us, and that's obviously 90 minutes against Nottingham Forest.
“It’s not that we're ducking our head in the sand – we all know what position were in and what opportunity we've got – but I think it's just about focus. If we all want to give it your best shot it comes from focusing on what's directly in front of us, which is the Forest game, and going all out to win.
“Our unbeaten record at home against their recent unbeaten record, at the top end of the table – as a player these are the sort of games you want to play in. You relish it.
“I think we all know those sort of records go out of the window in a 90-minute football match.
“But it’s certainly going to be a good occasion and one we’re going to look to get a great result in.”
With fifth-placed Nottingham Forest not too far adrift of the top two and next weekend’s visitors Derby County closing in, Heaton is fully aware of the significance of the contest.
“At the top end of the table, it’s a great game.
“It’s important we do our best to increase our tally and keep theirs where it is,” said the 27-year-old.
“It (promotion) is not going to be won or lost on these games.
“Yes we’re going to be going all-out to win the game but after the game we’ll be focused on the next one and keep going forward.
“That has been a key theme of the season, set out by the manager, and it’s such a good, simplified way as a player to follow that trend.
“It allows you to not get sidetracked and if we can continue that it will stand us in good stead.”
And Heaton credited Dyche for his calming and controlled influence.
“It’s been a very even keel.
o matter what’s going on there’s never a crisis, there’s no getting too carried away the other way.
“There’s an even calmness and that spreads through the staff and the players.
“It probably helps in terms of if we go one down there’s never any panic, it’s just calm and keep going about our business the right way.
“I think we’ve come from behind and won quite a lot of games this season and it all adds into the mix.
“The manager’s very consistent in his messages as well, which is also very good as players.
“You don’t go from one week to the next and then there’s a u-turn, which has happened (elsewhere) before.
“It’s fantastic to get that consistency.
“There’s no ramping it up now or anything like that, it’s just approaching things in the same way with the same mentality that we have done and give ourselves a great chance.”
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