CAPTAIN Tom Heaton expects Burnley to take another step forward this summer after securing a second successive season in the Premier League.
The Clarets skipper said there would be no standing still at Turf Moor after safety was confirmed and Heaton also declared himself happy with life at the club, brushing off rumours of interest from top flight rivals. Heaton has backed Burnley to build on this season with the help of the culture at the club, instilled by boss Sean Dyche.
“There’s been progress every year since I’ve been here, we’ve moved things on, and hopefully once we put the season to bed, we’ll look to move things forward again,” the 31-year-old said.
“Even when we were relegated, we always felt we were building, moving things forward, the infrastructure and the squad moved forward, and we were gearing up to have a successful season the following year. We went on to be champions.
“We talk about keep pushing the boundaries, trying to squeeze more out of what we do, across the board.
“I think the manager sets that culture, and everyone else follows. It’s been a recipe for success and I don’t see that changing.”
One of the key ingredients is the strength in the collective at Turf Moor.
Dyche broke Burnley’s transfer record three times this season and money will be available to spend again, but Heaton said the club’s success was about more than star names.
“We don’t really want to rely on individuals, we have the freedom for individuals to do well, but people come and go,” he said.
“It’s important the DNA or whatever you want to call it, stays the same, and makes it easy for people to come in and do a job.”
It could be a busy summer at Turf Moor, with incomings expected while defender Michael Keane is likely to leave for a record fee with some of the Premier League’s biggest sides showing an interest.
Heaton has previously been linked with Everton, and this week stories emerged suggesting Newcastle were interested, but the England goalkeeper is happy where he is.
“For me, its about playing Premier League football and continuing to work away at the international set up,” he said.
“I’ve been delighted to be involved and have a hunger for more, so I want to keep improving, and I’m more than happy where I am.”
Most of the Premier League’s top seven have been linked with 24-year-old Keane, now an international teammate of Heaton’s, and he hasn’t given up hope of keeping him at the club.
“A 24-year-old centre back, second year in the Premier League, it’s no surprise there’s interest, but hopefully we can hold onto him,” Heaton said.
“His England debut was outstanding as well, no surprise to me, but everyone else could see what he’s all about. If you watched him most games it wouldn’t be a big surprise.
“He had a lot of ability coming from United and has realised a lot of that potential here. You can see the progress he’s made.
“This season he’s gone from strength to strength so it’s no surprise people are looking closely at him.”