‘We thought we had lost Craig Bryson’ - Derby boss McClaren

Derby boss Steve McClaren thought Burnley had managed to prise Rams player of the year Craig Bryson from the iPro Stadium.

Signed: Craig Bryson
Signed: Craig Bryson

The 27-year-old held talks with the Clarets last week, before rejecting a bid for the Scotland international, who netted 16 goals as Derby reached the Championship play-off final.

However, Derby secured the player on a new five-year deal yesterday, and McClaren admitted: “That is what we wanted, first and foremost. We didn’t want to lose any players. Sam Rush (chief executive) and Chris Evans (head of football operations) have done that, and they have done a terrific job.

“We thought we had lost Craig Bryson. I didn’t think we would keep hold of him.

“The first day he came back for pre-season training it seemed as though we had lost him but everybody in the dressing room has worked hard on him, we have all worked hard on him, and in the end Sam Rush and Chris Evans have got it over the line and he stays.”

The former England head coach was delighted to retain his services: “What a great boost. It is like a new signing.

“He is one of the first names on the team sheet and the thought of losing a damn good player wasn’t a good one, so it is pleasing to have him signed up.

“Craig Bryson wants to play in the Premier League - everybody wants to play in the Premier League.

“Burnley have gone up. They did very well last season and they saw value in Craig Bryson.

“There was one or two little things over a clause in his contract but we are delighted it never actually came to that.”