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Heaton considered Burnley departure

28th January 2019, 13:41 by Tom McGarry

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has revealed he considered leaving the club during his time out of the first-team picture.

The England international was the Clarets' undisputed number one until he suffered a serious shoulder injury early last season.

Nick Pope excelled in Heaton's absence and retained his place in the team even as the 32-year-old edged towards a return to full fitness.

Pope then suffered his own serious shoulder injury at the start of the current campaign, but with Heaton still feeling his way back, boss Sean Dyche opted to bring in Joe Hart who became the regular first choice during the first half of the season.

However, with Burnley struggling for form, Dyche opted to restore Heaton to the starting line-up for last month's game against West Ham and his return has coincided with an upturn in form for the Clarets, taking 10 points from a possible 12 with him between the sticks.

Heaton is clearly delighted to be back in the Burnley first-team, although he admits he did consider leaving the club when his opportunities were restricted.

"Coming into the January window before I was in the team it was certainly uncertain for me whether it would be here or elsewhere if I'm honest," Heaton told Sky Sports. "Just because of that drive to play, that's what gets me out of bed in the morning."

"I put the work in, I felt in great shape, I feel in great shape now and I'm delighted to be back out there and even happier that it's at this club."

Heaton is expected to be in the starting XI once again when the Clarets travel to Old Trafford to take on one of his former clubs Manchester United in the Premier League on Tuesday.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.

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