Clarets keeper: ‘one game at a time’

Tom Heaton.
Tom Heaton.
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Clarets keeper Tom Heaton won’t be sidetracked by records or talk of promotion.

The 27-year-old prefers to keep focus by not looking further ahead than the next game - tomorrow’s home clash with Nottingham Forest.

Burnley are 19 games without defeat at Turf Moor, and nine without a loss since the Boxing Day defeat at Misdlesbrough - their only league setback in 14.

But Forest are also in good form, unbeaten in 14 league games themselves, after the 2-2 draw at home to leaders Leicester City on Wednesday night.

With the 15 games remaining, including the East Lancashire derby in a fortnight, Heaton is sticking to the mantra that has served the Clarets well so far this season, instilled by manager Sean Dyche - one game at a time.

Heaton said: “We’ve out ourselves in a great position. We’re trying to focus on what’s directly in front of us, which has been a key theme of the season.

“It’s been a big part in our success to just totally focus on what’s in front of us, and that’s obviously 90 minutes against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

“I think beyond that, it’s not that we’re ducking our head in the sand - we all know what position were in and what opportunity we’ve got - but I think it’s just about focus.

“If we all want to give it your best shot it comes from focusing on what’s directly in front of us, which is the Forest game, and going all out to win.

“Our unbeaten record at home against their recent unbeaten record, at the top end of the table - as a player these are the sort of games you want to play in. You relish it.

“I think we all know those sort of records go out of the window in a 90-minute football match.

“But it’s certainly going to be a good occasion and one we’re going to look to get a great result in.”

He added: “It would be a great game to go and win - as would any game.

“We’re not doing anything different, we’re not approaching it in a different manner. I think the same sort of application and attitude applies.

“If we can do that, although nothing’s guaranteed in football, we’ll give ourselves probably the best chance of getting a result.

“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.

“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.

“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.”