Heaton 'hurt but positive'

Goalkeeper tries to stay upbeat following Carling Cup anguish

Tom Heaton: Encouraged by Cardiff's performance in the Carling Cup final

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Tom Heaton has reflected on the heartache he felt following Cardiff's Carling Cup defeat but says there are plenty of reasons to be upbeat when he thinks about the performance.

The Bluebirds came close to causing an upset at Wembley on Sunday as they took Liverpool to penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time.

However, it was not to be their day as a dramatic shoot-out ended with Anthony Gerrard missing the target to give the Reds victory.

Goalkeeper Heaton admits it is a loss that will stay with the players for a long time, but recognises that it was a display full of spirit and determination.

"It was heartbreaking to go so close and fall at the final hurdle, but these things happen and congratulations to Liverpool," he told Sky Sports News.

"As the night wore on and the emotions wore off a little bit, I think there were a lot of positives to take from the game.

"We had a lot of determination in the team and did well to get back into it, so we can take a lot from that.

"Having said that, it was heartbreaking the way it happened but that's sometimes what a penalty shoot-out can do.

"It still hurts. You can't get away from that and I'm sure it will hurt for a long time, but there was perhaps a bit more of a reflective attitude (later on Sunday)."

Study chart

Heaton pulled off a stunning save to keep out the opening penalty from Steven Gerrard and shed light on a brief period of study with his coaches before the start of the shoot-out.

"We had a chart put together of where they'd all gone on previous penalties," he explained.

"Some had as many as ten or 12 previous penalties and others had two, but they all went the opposite way last night so it was interesting."

Elaborating on the Gerrard save, Heaton added: "He didn't put it (where the chart said he would), so it was more of a guess to be honest.

"They missed the first two penalties and that gave us a great chance, but it wasn't to be."

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