Sean Dyche stands by Danny Drinkwater after off-field incident
(Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Sean Dyche stands by Danny Drinkwater after off-field incident

Midfielder set for spell on sidelines after injuring ankle in altercation

dave-comerford
David Comerford

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has unreservedly backed Danny Drinkwater after the player picked up an injury in an off-field altercation.

The Englishman reportedly hurt his ankle in a fight outside a Manchester nightclub hours after the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool

He now face at least two weeks on the sidelines, having made only one start for Burnley since his loan move from Chelsea (in the League Cup loss against Sunderland).

Dyche, though, does not expect the incident to derail a key season in his career. 

"This is just a bump in the situation," he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Brighton.

"We want to make sure he gets back to being fully fit, playing well, the eye of the tiger that it takes to be a top player – which he has shown he can be. There's no two ways about that."

Drinkwater's wait for a first Premier League outing since April 2018 will go on. 

"It's about him as well. He wants to be back there playing well. He's had a tough couple of years football-wise, not playing much.

"He wants the hunger and desire to flood back into him and you have to earn that.

"You have to earn the right to bring back those feel-good factors and deliver the performances and that’s what we want from him.

"He was doing that before this incident. He was working hard on his training and I'm sure he will do as soon as he’s fit again."

Treatment reflects Dyche philosophy

Dyche also underlined the importance of managers supporting their players in difficult moments.

He says it can be rewarding to ultimately unlock the best form of individuals who have struggled with off-field circumstances.

"You can't just talk about development when it's good news," he said. "You also have to work with players if things aren’t quite as good.

"I try and talk to the players and more so if things aren't quite as right as they should be.

"When we take somebody in – regardless of being on loan – he becomes part of us and anyone who joins us becomes part of us.

"We've got to work with the player in the correct manner, which we do.

“It's easy to spend time with players when it’s all going well and everything is rosy.

"Sometimes it’s more satisfying to work with players when things are not quite right, so we’ll certainly continue working with him, help with his fitness and help him get re-aligned to where he was and where he wants to be.

"And the only way he can do that is getting himself right here, on the pitch, and getting in the team."

Boosts elsewhere

Drinkwater will need time to recover, but there is positive news on other players who had picked up injuries.

Dwight McNeil is expected to be fit for the visit to the South Coast after being forced to withdraw from the England U21 squad and top-scorer Ashley Barnes has overcome a groin problem.

Robbie Brady, yet to feature this season, is poised to make his comeback, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson will undergo fitness tests after his calf injury.

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