Clarets skipper Tom Heaton honoured by England call

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton said that it was an honour to be given the opportunity to represent his country once again.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 3:56 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:03 am
Proud: Tom Heaton

The Clarets skipper was called up to Gareth Southgate's 26-man England squad for the forthcoming cluster of international fixtures.

And he'll be joined by defender Michael Keane as the Three Lions take on Germany in a friendly at Dortmund's Signal-Iduna-Park on Wednesday before they tackle Lithuania in a World Cup qualifying game next Sunday at Wembley.

Heaton, who has been capped twice for his nation having appeared in games against Australia and Spain, said: "It's another proud moment when selected to represent your country. It's a massive honour and they're exciting times.

Proud: Tom Heaton

"It's an away game at Germany so I don't think they get any bigger really. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the last game and it was obviously a fantastic night for all concerned. Hopefully there'll be another one on Wednesday night."

Heaton was involved under Roy Hodgson as England crashed out of the European Championships in disappointing fashion against Iceland and went on to keep his place during the short tenure of Sam Allardyce.

Southgate stepped in as interim coach for the 2-0 win over Malta to steady the ship and Heaton has been impressed with the transitional spell.

"We've had some very good results; that transition period from the Euros has been good," he said. "It's gone how we all wanted it to and there's been no hangover from that so far.

Proud: Tom Heaton

"It's been very good so it's important that we go out and finish that properly and see where it takes us.

"It's been fantastic so far. He's had some great ideas and carried that transition well. There have been a couple of changes in management recently which can make it difficult but that crossing over period has been seamless really and it bodes well for the future."

Meanwhile, Heaton is confident that England still have the necessary firepower to succeed in the absence of in-form Harry Kane.

With the Spurs striker limping off in the FA Cup quarter-final clash with Millwall at White Hart Lane, boss Southgate has leaned on Jermain Defoe, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy.

"Certainly from my experience when I've been involved every player who has come up to the squad has been excellent," said Heaton.

"There aren't any concerns at all with our strength in depth. Every time I go I've been impressed with the quality there so from my point of view there won't be any worries what-so-ever."

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