Heaton has no desire to sit quietly in corner

Tom Heaton.
Tom Heaton.
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Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton is determined to make the most of his maiden England 
call-up and leave a lasting impression.

A string of impressive Premier League performances led Roy Hodgson to include the 29-year-old in the Three Lions squad for the upcoming matches against Ireland and Slovenia.

Heaton is the first Burnley player since Martin Dobson in 1974 to receive an England call-up and has settled quickly since linking up with the squad on Wednesday.

The Clarets goalkeeper is thoroughly enjoying the experience, but knows he call ill-afford to let this opportunity slip.

“I’ve had a bit of grief off Gary Neville saying I’m supposed to be quiet in the corner on my first trip but that’s not my way,” said Heaton. “I’m delighted, I’m thoroughly enjoying it but I’m also here to do a job and I want to perform for my country.

“It’s fantastic to be here for myself, the goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer, the manager, the staff and everyone connected with the club.

“But I have to make it clear my ambition goes far beyond just getting into the squad and making it a one-time thing.

“I’ve got my foot in the door and I want to make sure I make an impact so that I can come back again.”

With Fraser Forster and Ben Foster laid low by injury, Heaton has joined Joe Hart and Robert Green in the England squad.

That quality and experience means the uncapped goalkeeper is approaching these matches more in hope than expectation, although he will be ready if called upon.

“We’re here to play games but I’ve come here with no expectation of that,” said Manchester United academy graduate Heaton.

“It’s important that I get in and show what I can do and feel at home as soon as possible.

“That starts with the training but with regards to the matches that is out of my control. There is certainly a hope there.

“I think I’m looking forward to testing myself at the highest level more than anything.

“It’s been a while since I was at United and that was a very good level but this is probably above that.

“You can see the quality and I want to keep pushing my game on. It’s certainly been a big thing from me, the message since I signed at Burnley, to keep progressing and this is another chance to keep doing that.”