Tom Heaton has brushed off speculation surrounding his Burnley future and insisted another top-flight season at Turf Moor gives him a fine chance of developing his international career.
The Clarets goalkeeper made his England debut against Australia in April and played a crucial role in ensuring Sean Dyche’s men sealed a second consecutive season in the Premier League.
Heaton and defender Michael Keane are just two of the Burnley stars being linked with moves away from the club but the 31-year-old, who has two years left on his existing contract, says he is happy to stay.
Heaton said: “For me it is about playing Premier League football and continuing to work away at the international set-up. I’m delighted to be involved in that and have a taste for it and now I’ve got a hunger for more. I want to continue improving every day and I’m more than happy where I am at the moment.”
Keane, who is struggling to shake off a knock ahead of his side’s final game of the season at home to West Ham on Sunday, has been more heavily linked with a return to his former club Manchester United.
But Heaton says he is unfazed by the prospect of the Clarets losing some of their star names this summer and believes the work ethic Dyche has cultivated at the club will still stand them in good stead for next season.
Heaton added: “It is the nature of the beast, especially at this level, that when players do well they will get talked about. (But) Our biggest strength is our team ethic and our unity. Whatever happens we will deal with it and we’ll keep moving forward.”
Turf Moor is likely to play host to a celebratory atmosphere as a team widely tipped for relegation at the start of the campaign target an 11th place finish if results go their way.
Heaton added: “I think it’s been a very good season – the target at the start was to stay in the Premier League and we’ve done that with a game or two to spare.
“We’re not finished there – there’s still places to play for. It’s tough but if we can end the season with three points and make our way up the table it will be the icing on the cake.”
Along with Keane, the only other concern for Dyche is another defender, Ben Mee, who is unlikely to recover from a shin injury in time to line up against the Hammers.