Heats hopes to make sure against Baggies

Clarets skipper Tom Heaton aims to mathematically confirm Burnley's Premier League status as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 2:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:45 pm
Burnley's Thomas Heaton during the pre-match warm-up Photographer Ashley Western/CameraSport The Premier League - Crystal Palace v Burnley - Wednesday 26th April 2017 - Selhurst Park - London World Copyright © 2017 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

And, ahead of Saturday’s home clash with West Brom, he is targeting an 11th clean sheet of the campaign to help make sure.

Sean Dyche’s side are seven points clear of Swansea City in 18th place, with nine points available.

While they are virtually assured of safety, and, indeed, only two points from ninth place, there remains a job to be done.

Heaton, who made 10 shut outs two seasons ago as Burnley were relegated, said: “We’re in a stronger position than we were, that’s great.

“It’s not mathematical yet so there’s still work to be done.

“We’ve got three games to go and we’ll be trying to shut them out in all three.”

The Clarets go into the game buoyed by a first away win of the season, at the 18th attempt, at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The England international admits it was a relief to break that duck: “The manager is always talking to us about a one game at a time mentality, and it has stood us in good stead.

“If you step back from it at the start of the season, you don’t want to go through a season without winning away from home.

“We kept that belief. Perhaps it will help for next season.

“It’s been a long time coming, a lot has been made of it. The performances have been a lot better since the turn of the year, but we haven’t quite got the result, but that was probably our best performance away from home.

“To get a 2-0 win at such a tough place, we’re delighted.”

The dressing room never lost belief they would get that win on the road: “We didn’t really. The longer it goes on, the more difficult it gets, in that people make more of it, but we were focused on what we needed to do.

“Early in the season I don’t think we were quite at it away from home, but we improved but it was just getting over that line and we did it well.

“Every game we were trying to win, we had two left and we wanted to do it.

“Something felt right, we’ve been building towards it and I thought we played some great stuff in the first half and it was a fantastic grind out in the second half.”

Burnley did so without the suspended Joey Barton after his 18-month FA ban, and Heaton was sorry to hear the news: “We were disappointed, he’s been a massive asset for us. He’s been fantastic in and around the place.

“I’m not 100% sure of the details. I know he’s broken the rules, which has to be punished, but it felt harsh at the time, but I don’t know the full ins and outs so it’s difficult to make too much comment on it.

“In terms of in our dressing room he’ll be missed for the time he is out.”