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I joined Manchester United to play – Tom Heaton fires warning to De Gea and Henderson
I joined Manchester United to play – Tom Heaton fires warning to De Gea and Henderson

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Manchester United new signing Tom Heaton has said he hasn’t joined the club to go through the motions.

Heaton, 35, who spent eight years at Manchester United without making a senior appearance, returned to the club this summer as a free agent, after having spells at Burnley and Aston Villa.

He is currently third-choice goalkeeper behind Dean Henderson and David De Gea, but said he is determined to stake his claim for a starting place.

After impressing in the friendly win at Derby County, Heaton admits a belief he can challenge for the No.1 spot.

“That’s the plan,” said Heaton. “Of course I’ve had a fair bit of experience under my belt, so I think I can add perhaps a different dimension to the department.

“There’ll be a professional respect and support all the way through it. But, personally, that’s the aim. Everywhere I’ve been in my career you step on and try and get in the team.

“Of course I’m aware of the challenge here. There are some fantastic goalkeepers here.

“It’s a fantastic goalkeeping department. But, personally, of course you come here and want to try and get in the team.

“That’s what I’ll be trying to do, but at the same time making sure there’s a support and an element of competitiveness throughout the department.”

United are currently on a week-long training camp in Surrey, before their next pre-season encounter, at Queen’s Park Rangers, on Saturday.

“For me, it was great to get started after seven weeks off,” said Heaton.

“With the Euros, it was quite a long summer if you weren’t involved in it. So it was nice to get back out there and meet a few of the boys.

“I’m starting to get a good relationship with a few of the young boys, which has been nice. It’s not always possible when you join up with the first-team squad, so that’s been good.

“You build those relationships, find out how people work. So it should be a really good week.”

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