TOM HEATON INTERVIEW

The England stopper reckons he's better than ever!

HI TOM, IS RIGHT NOW BEST YOU’VE EVER PLAYED IN YOUR LIFE?

Tom says: "I think so, yeah! I certainly feel like I’m playing with a lot more freedom, it’s never going to be all plain-sailing, there’s nothing guaranteed in football, but I certainly feel I’m better than ever!"

WHAT ARE THE BEST THREE SAVES YOU’VE EVER MADE?

Tom says: "We were playing Southampton away in 2016. The ball came in and Charlie Austin headed it down and I managed to get finger tips on it and push it around the post. I made a save again in 2016 away at Old Trafford against Man. United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It came across and I made a bit of a star with my body. Then probably a save I made in the League Cup Final for Cardiff against Liverpool, I saved a penalty from Steven Gerrard onto the crossbar. That was a big moment for me!"

HAVE YOU EVER CELEBRATED A SAVE?

Tom says: "Haha, I have actually! I try not to, but sometimes you get carried away with the emotion. The odd penalty save I’ve celebrated just out of pure enthusiasm. I remember I saved one from Tadic at Turf Moor, I think we were 2-1 up, not a lot in the game, I made the save and just started fist-pumping out of nowhere! I had grief off the lads for weeks!"

WHICH STRIKER IS YOUR NEMESIS?

Tom says: "Jordan Rhodes! Every time I played against him, he used to score! He’s a top, top finisher and a good lad to boot, but out of everyone I’ve faced, including the Premier League players, he’s the standout one for me. He’s done me on a few occasions, he always finds a way of putting it passed me!"

THERE’S BEEN YOU, JOE HART AND NICK POPE AT BURNLEY THIS SEASON! IT MUST BE LIKE AN ENGLAND CAMP EVERY DAY!

Tom says: "It’s certainly an interesting time. We enjoy it, we enjoy the competition, obviously everyone wants to play but we enjoy competing against each other and fighting for the shirt! It can be difficult when you have lads who want to play – our goalkeeping coach is a busy man at the minute!"

EVER FANCY BEING A MATCH OF THE DAY PUNDIT?

Tom says: "Yeah, I’d certainly be open to it, if that opportunity was there. I do love the thought process, the technical side and the ideas behind goalkeeping, so that is certainly something I’ll be looking into!"

Paz and Ketch BBC MOTD mag