Friday 17 November 2017

Tom Heaton sees England going from strength to strength

Burnley pair Tom Heaton, pictured, and Michael Keane have been called up by England
Burnley pair Tom Heaton, pictured, and Michael Keane have been called up by England

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton insists England have shrugged off the memories of their dismal Euro 2016 exit and put themselves in a strong position to qualify for next year's World Cup.

Heaton is one of two Clarets players, along with defender Michael Keane, who have been named in Gareth Southgate's squad for next Wednesday's friendly in Germany and the World Cup qualifier with Lithuania four days later.

The 30-year-old Heaton has become a regular international call-up since he made his debut against Australia at the Stadium of Light last year - but has already experienced life under three different England bosses.

Heaton said: "We've had some good results in the transitional period since the Euros - obviously it didn't end how we wanted it to, but there was no hangover and qualification so far has been very good.

"It has been fantastic so far (under Southgate). There have been some great ideas that have carried the transition. The changes of managers can be difficult but the crossing-over period has been seamless and it bodes well for the future."

The pair's inclusion in the squad delighted Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who feels his side's emerging international contingent is testament to their development as a top-flight club.

Dyche said: "I think it's a really good sign - the difference with Tom and Keano is that the culture and environment here has added to their pathway to international level.

"They have been here long enough to mature with the team with a good thing for us and for them. Both have been fantastic with what they've done for us and now we'll see what they do on international duty."

Press Association

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