GOALKEEPER Tom Heaton believes Burnley have got their summer recruitment strategy spot on – and reckons the Turf Moor team spirit could prove more valuable than any big signings.
Sean Dyche is still keen to strengthen his squad ahead of Premier League opener with Chelsea on Monday week and continues to be linked with a move for Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury.
But Heaton insists even if there are no more arrivals this summer, the Clarets have enough quality in their ranks to survive their first season back in the top flight.
“If you are bringing players in you want them to be quality and I think we have done that,” said the Burnley stopper, who faces competition from new arrival Matt Gilks to be the club’s No.1 when the season starts.
“But if you have a successful team and a successful ethic with the players in there, if that remains the same and you keep that core together, then you add bits to it.
“I think it is a better way to go than to a full new XI.
“I think you can often get sucked into buying players – are they any better? Have they still got the hunger?
“I think that’s certainly something we have got a lot of in this squad – hunger and with that brings the desire and effort to go the extra mile and, as we all know, that was certainly something from last season and something we be looking to do again.”
Heaton made his first appearance of pre-season in Tuesday’s 2-2 friendly draw with Celta Vigo having recovered from a calf injury which disrupted his summer.
And he admits it was a boost to play 90 minutes with the new season looming large.
Heaton added: “It was a huge relief as you don’t want to go too long.
“I have been back in training for a week. I had two weeks training before I had the injury.
“To be honest, I was only out for two weeks but it felt like a lifetime and it was so frustrating.
“It was difficult because it was at a time when we had quite a few games but it adds more to the motivation when you come back and I couldn’t be happier than getting 90 minutes under my belt.”
The former Cardiff and Manchester United goalkeeper signed a contract extension earlier this summer and said he was glad to have got his long-term future sorted before the season begins.
“There were discussions the back end of last season with the manager and the club and obviously from my point of view I was absolutely delighted, I couldn’t be happier,” said Heaton.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it last year, really enjoyed playing for the manager and staff and working with the goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer so I was over the moon to sign and couldn’t be happier and looking forward to keeping developing and performing again this season.
“From top to bottom it was excellent last season and the ingredients are there again to go again and we need to make sure we get it right and go about it in the right manner.
“But we certainly look like we have put the foundations of that in place in pre-season and hopefully we can rattle a few cages this season.”