Burnley boss Dyche draws a line under Drinkwater situation

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Daniel Drinkwater of Burnley and Lynden Gooch of Sunderland AFC compete for the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on August 28, 2019 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Daniel Drinkwater of Burnley and Lynden Gooch of Sunderland AFC compete for the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on August 28, 2019 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Danny Drinkwater won’t be available for Saturday’s trip to Brighton as a result of the injuries suffered in a reported ‘attack’ outside the Chinawhite club in Manchester a fortnight ago.

But boss Sean Dyche is philosophical about the situation, and, having spoken to the on-loan Chelsea midfielder, will now draw a line under the subject.

Eye-witnesses have described how a gang chanted “break his legs” as Drinkwater was set on in the centre of Manchester.

The attack is reported to have taken place following Burnley’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at Turf Moor, in which Drinkwater was an unused substitute.

The former Leicester City man, on loan from Chelsea initially until January 6th, was reportedly attacked after apparently repeatedly chatting up Scunthorpe United player Kgosi Ntlhe’s girlfriend at the Chinawhite club.

After being ejected by security staff, Drinkwater is believed to have been confronted by a group of six, who were witnessed attacking him with a blunt object, and jumping on his ankle while chanting: “break his legs.”

A source told The Sun: “It was incredibly nasty with blood everywhere.

“At one point he was curled up in a ball on the ground, as they repeatedly jumped up and down on his ankle and shouting, ‘break his legs’.

“They knew he was a Premier League star and it was his livelihood.

“There was blood everywhere and it was all incredibly nasty.”

Dyche met with the player earlier this week, and he said on Thursday morning: “Sometimes these things happen.

“There’s no story, other than what has been printed.

“It’s just real life, things like that happen sometimes.

“I knew (of the incident) before (it was reported) obviously, and we spoke, but only stuff about what he needs to do here.

“That was more the case.

“It’s just commonsense.

“He’s 29, he understands, these situations happen, but he knows it’s not good, and equally he’s old enough to know how to conduct himself.

“It’s just the way it goes sometimes, life happens.”

Dyche worked with Drinkwater in the second half of the 2010/11 season while assistant manager at Watford, when the player was on loan from Manchester United: “I’ve known of him for quite a while.

“I worked with him before at Watford, and he’s a genuinely good lad.

“I like players to have an edge about them, but it still has to be channeled in the right way.”

Of the injury to his ankle, Dyche added: “It’s not serious, it needs to settle down, but it’s not serous, although he won’t figure this weekend.”

* Robbie Brady will come back into contention for the game at Brighton.

And Dyche will make a late decision on Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s fitness.

Brady is yet to feature this season after suffering a fractured rib in pre-season, but came through 90 minutes for the Under 23s last Monday.

Dyche said: “Robbie came through with no problems and comes back into the thinking for Brighton.

“But we will have to make a decision on Johann.

“Last season he had a few niggles with his calf, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Dyche will also wait to see the condition of his players who have been away on international duty, as Nick Pope, Jeff Hendrick, Kevin Long and Bailey Peacock-Farrell report back.

But he anticipates no issues: “I’ve not heard anything, so I imagine they are all fine after being away.”