Burnley will tighten up but not get uptight, says Heaton

Tom Heaton insists Burnley will not worry too much about the number of headed goals they are conceding.

Chris Smalling scores the second of his two headed goals for Manchester United in Burnleys 3-1 Premier League loss at Old Trafford (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA).

Of the 43 goals the Clarets have shipped in the Premier League this season, 16 have been headers, more than any other team.

The weakness has cost them dearly over the past couple of games, with four of the five goals scored by West Brom and Manchester United being headers from corners.

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Burnley picked up only a single point from a draw with West Brom in a match they had led 2-0, and lost 3-1 at Old Trafford.

Goalkeeper Heaton said: “We don’t think it’s a major issue, we just need to tighten up a few little things, which we will do.

“We’re certainly trying to avoid (becoming fixated on it), and we won’t do.

“The facts are there in terms of it being something we need to look at, try to adjust and affect it a little bit, but at that point you put it to bed and you go out there and you still have to have the freedom and clarity to go and play and try to do the right things.

“Sometimes I’ve found in my career these things crop up. If you go in there and people are thinking about it, it can create more of an issue, so we’ll certainly try to avoid that.”

After last week’s trip to Old Trafford, Burnley visit league leaders Chelsea today.

“We can take a lot of positives from the United away performance last week,” said Heaton.

“It was frustrating not to come away with something after the way we played but, if we play like that over a prolonged period, then we’ll get the results we want.

“We know Chelsea are a top side, but we’ll try to go about it in the right manner and look to upset them.”

The reverse fixture was the opening match of the season, and Burnley gave themselves the perfect start on their return to the top flight when Scott Arfield fired them into the lead at Turf Moor.

But Chelsea set the trend for their season by turning on the style to come back and win 3-1, and they go into this weekend’s game seven points clear at the top of the table.

Heaton said: “It was a Monday night away at Burnley and you could be forgiven for thinking, ‘Are they ready for this?’ A bit of a hostile atmosphere and everything, but I thought they were outstanding on the night. Physically they were excellent, the application and the attitude. I was really impressed by them and I think they were probably the best team we’ve faced so far.”

The defeat by United coupled with other results saw Burnley slip back into the relegation zone, but the mood around the club 
remains relaxed and positive.

Heaton said: “There’s still a long way to go and a lot of points to play for.

“We don’t want to be in the bottom three. We don’t duck our heads in the sand, but the important thing is we focus on what’s right in front of us.

“We’ve done that, certainly since I’ve been at the club, and I think that’s probably the best way to go about it.”

Burnley welcome back defender Stephen Ward after two and a half months out with a fractured ankle.

Chelsea captain John Terry is on course to secure a one-year contract extension, but manager Jose Mourinho has refused to comment on reports he is close to agreeing fresh terms.

Terry stated after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Paris St Germain that he would like to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge knowing that club policy is to only grant single season deals to players over 30.

Mourinho insists the 34-year-old’s form points towards another campaign with the Premier League leaders.

“Everyone wants to stay at Chelsea, especially John Terry because he has been here all of his life,” Mourinho said.

“He accepts our policy on players over 30 with a smile and accepts it as a challenge. Last season he won the challenge by performing so well and getting the one-year extension.

“This season he is winning the challenge and the right to have another one-year extension. It’s what John wants, it’s what the club wants.”

Mourinho has two years left on his contract and is unwilling to discuss his future beyond stating he is content at Stamford Bridge.

“I want to stay. I think the club is happy. I’m not waiting for offers. I’m not going to give any space for speculation or for interest from other clubs,” he said.

“I want to stay, I don’t want to go. My story is a non-story because I will stay for as long as (club owner) Mr (Roman) Abramovich wants me.”

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel remains sidelined with a knee injury, but Mourinho has otherwise reported a clean bill of health for his squad.