MX23RW : Tuesday, November 13 01:09:05

Sean Dyche: Tom Heaton still has a future at Burnley

Sean Dyche: Tom Heaton still has a future at Burnley
© Reuters
Heaton has been usurped by Joe Hart as Burnley’s number one.

Sean Dyche insists Tom Heaton has a future at Burnley if he wants one but understands the goalkeeper’s frustration at being left out of the side.

Heaton’s status as Burnley number one, and potentially the same position with England, looked assured until he suffered a serious shoulder injury in September 2017 and saw Nick Pope excel in his place.

With Pope struck down by his own shoulder issue, a minor injury early this season resulted in Heaton missing out to new signing Joe Hart, who has now established himself as the club’s number one.

At 32 and with international ambitions, sitting on the bench is understandably frustrating for Heaton, and he told the Sunday Mirror he would have to keep his options open in January when the transfer window reopens.

Dyche hinted he would not stand in Heaton’s way if he feels he does need to leave, saying: “I thought he spoke very well because he’s a fantastic professional and I expect him to do that, and that’s a big part of why he’s club captain. He’s just telling the truth.

“Me and Tom go back a long way, he was my first signing here, so we’ve certainly got an open dialogue about what goes on. He’s been very, very unfortunate. In due course, whatever needs to be worked out, we will find a way of working it out.

“He knows for as long as he can know that he’s got a future here, it’s just what part of that future is right for him and for us – but mainly for him at this stage.

“Football changes very, very quickly. With keepers it’s more difficult because it can be a longer situation but, as we’ve seen with Tom and then with Popey, it just changes like that. I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone here, but it just sometimes changes. Nothing’s done at this moment in time.”

Dyche could soon be in the position of having three England stoppers to choose from, with Pope “tentatively” back out on the grass.

Midfielder Steven Defour could make a first Premier League appearance for nine months against Manchester City on Saturday but the game comes too soon for winger Robbie Brady and defenders Ben Gibson and Stephen Ward.

The latter had a minor knee operation this week, and Dyche said: “He’s had a tidy up and a wash-out of his knee so we’ll wait and see but that’s not going to be days, that’s going to be weeks.”

Hart will make his first appearance against City since ending his 12-year association with the club in the summer.

Dyche does not expect the 31-year-old to be affected by the occasion, saying: “He’s very experienced now Joe, he’s played in enough big games of different sorts.

“Obviously it’s a different kind of emotion, a club you’ve got a big history with and a recent history, but I think he’ll just want to get on with it and not overthink it.

“I didn’t bring him here to prove a point to anyone. I don’t want to speak for him but, if he’s got any point to prove, I don’t see why, other than to himself. And that is to continue to show what a top-class goalie he is.”

Defender Ben Mee trod the path from City to Burnley six years ago and the fixtures against his former club still have a significance.

He said of Hart’s return: “I’m sure there’s something there. It’s always good going back to places you’ve played.

“He has been written off I guess in the past but he’s still a top keeper and I’m sure he wants to prove that.”


Check out our page for Manchester City

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account