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Heaton hoping for England recall with countdown on to Nations League finals

2:31 AM MYT 13/03/2019
Tom Heaton England
The Burnley goalkeeper has re-established himself at club level and is now looking to force his way back into Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions plans

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton hopes he has done enough to force his way back into the England squad ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers and the Nations League finals.

The Three Lions are still riding the wave of optimism set in motion during last summer’s World Cup in Russia.

On the back of reaching the semi-finals at that tournament, Gareth Southgate’s side are now readying themselves for another last-four showdown with the Netherlands in June.

Prior to that, they have meetings with the Czech Republic and Montenegro to take in during the March international break.

Heaton is among those pushing for a place in Southgate’s plans, with the 32-year-old having recovered from finding himself out of favour at Burnley to re-establish himself at club level.

“That’s hopefully the first marker. It’s obviously out of my hands but we will see what happens,” Heaton, speaking at Precision’s Goalkeeping event for his bespoke glove range, told Goal on his international ambition.

Quizzed on whether he has been monitoring the form of others ahead of the latest squad announcement, with Everton’s Jordan Pickford having been England’s first-choice for some time now, Heaton added: “To be honest, no.

“I try to be quite intrinsic. I’m a big believer in it’s about what you do, not what anybody else does.

“The way football is these days and everything around it, you sometimes do well to avoid it. But in terms of my focus, it tends to be very internal.

“Even when I wasn’t playing and being part of the goalkeeping department here, for me it’s not about others, it’s about yourself.

“If you’re not playing, if you haven’t got the opportunity to go out there and play, then get better and spend time improving.

“I always try and look at it myself and make sure I’m doing everything I can.”

Heaton, who made his England debut against Australia in 2016 and currently has three caps to his name, is eager to add to his tally of outings for the Three Lions as the positivity sweeping through the squad and country suggests that major honours are there to be shot at.

He said: “They have been really impressive. The World Cup was superb.

“I thought the performances and the whole feel of it was excellent. There was a really good feeling in the country and everyone got behind that.

“We’ll certainly be looking to carry that on into the March internationals and again into the Nations League in the summer.”

England are set to face the Czech Republic on March 22 and Montenegro three days later.

They then have a meeting with a rejuvenated Netherlands side in the Nations League semi-finals to take in on June 6, with the intention being to then face either Portugal or Switzerland in the final on June 9.

Precision’s Infinite Heat Gloves, designed specifically by Tom are available now at http://www.precisiontraining.uk.com/goalkeeping.