BURNLEY goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer deserves great credit for his role in developing the stoppers at Turf Moor.

That is the view of Tom Heaton who also hailed the impact Mercer has had on his own career.

The Clarets captain, who was Sean Dyche's first signing as Burnley boss when he joined from Bristol City in 2013, has played the last three Premier League matches after being recalled to the starting XI and is expected to retain his place for the trip to Watford on Saturday.

With Joe Hart and a fit-again Nick Pope also in contention and Adam Legzdins and Anders Lindegaard also at the club, competition for the No.1 spot is fierce.

And Heaton believes Mercer is managing the demands of the role.

“It is a tough role, especially at the minute with five goalkeepers,” Heaton said.

“It is a difficult role and he is obviously staying on top of it and trying to manage it.

“The manager makes the decision for the team which really is the be all and end all, everything else is secondary to that.

“But he (Billy) does a good job of managing that.

“He has had a real positive influence and been a good support system for me.”