Run of games no issue for Clarets ace Heaton

This Is Lancashire: Tom Heaton Tom Heaton

TOM Heaton is ready to sink his teeth into a Premier League push, insisting: “We’re hungry for games”.

A Championship feast is on offer at Turf Moor tomorrow, when second meets fifth.

Burnley will be bidding to maintain their position in the automatic promotion places, and preserve a two-point gap over Derby County, who they host next week.

The Rams thrust themselves further into the mix by over-taking QPR in third with a midweek win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Increased congestion at the top end of the table means it is all to play for going into the last 15 games.

But goalkeeper Heaton insists they would not want it any other way.

“Bring on the games – that’s the sort of mentality at the minute. And that’s not just me, that’s the general feel and consensus within the group,” he said.

“There’s been a great atmosphere.

“I’ve been at teams before when you get that sense of needing a break, or you start talking about holidays in January.

“In this place there’s an appetite and a hunger for more. It’s quite infectious really. It’s great to be around, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”

And Heaton insists Burnley, as a whole, are shaping up well for the fight.

“The second half of games are going to become vitally important, and we’ve got that in the locker.

“We’re one of the fittest teams I’ve ever been involved in and I feel fantastic to be brutally honest.

“Other teams at this time of the year are starting to fade away a little bit or are just starting to feel the pinch. We’re sort of going on strong, and stronger if anything,” said the former Manchester United and Cardiff City stopper, who feels their stamina will bode well.

But the 27-year-old feels a strong mentality will become as important as their fitness, if not more so - particularly when it comes to not studying the league table and results elsewhere.

“Especially towards the back end of the season I think mental strength and mental toughness starts to become a big factor and how you can use that and not get distracted,” he said.

"I'm trying our best not to look at the league table and other team's results as best I can.

"It's obviously difficult. I'm not going to lie.

"We know we're in a great position but it's about what you can control, what you can do. There's no point getting sidetracked with other things that aren’t important.

“We’ve been really good at that so far this season, it’s just important that we carry it on and not get sidetracked by other things going on that aren’t in our control or in our focus.

“I think it’s going to be vitally important that we stick to that.”

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