JACK Cork has hailed the impact Tom Heaton has made to the Clarets XI since returning to the first team picture.

The Burnley captain found himself behind summer signing Joe Hart in the pecking order earlier in the campaign but Sean Dyche brought Heaton back into the side for the game with West Ham in late December and since then neither player or club have looked back.

The Clarets are unbeaten in seven Premier League games, winning four of them, with the latest an impressive 3-1 success away at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Heaton, who missed the majority of last season with a shoulder injury, produced several high class saves at the Amex Stadium to keep his team in the contest and Cork believes the skipper’s calming influence has helped bring more stability to the Burnley backline.

“Heats is unbelievable,” said the midfielder. “He’s a great goalkeeper, a great shot stopper.

“He’s our captain so it’s great having him there.

“He’s had a lot of big performances. He brings a calming influence and makes big saves at crucial moments to keep us in games.”

Heaton is currently Sean Dyche’s first choice and could find himself back in the England squad next month when Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate names his party for matches against Czech Republic and Montenegro.

But with Hart and the fit-again Nick Pope breathing down his neck at club level, Cork believes the competition for the No.1 spot is having a positive effect on all the club’s keepers.

“You could put any of our three goalkeepers in and they would do an unbelievable job,” added Cork.

“Heats has been great since he came in.

“You can look at all of our goalkeepers, they’re all England goalkeepers and whoever is playing always does well.

“It’s fortunate for Heats that he’s playing and he’s playing really well. If they are picking a squad on form then there aren’t many English goalkeepers who are doing better at the minute.

“You’d expect one of our goalies in there, certainly all the lads think so.”