Saturday 23 March 2019

A bad blow for Brady

Burnley's Robbie Brady tackles Leicester's Harry Maguire during Saturday's Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium
Burnley's Robbie Brady tackles Leicester's Harry Maguire during Saturday's Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium

A weekend defeat to Leicester City saw a Burnley side drop one place in the Premier League table.

But it was the loss to a serious injury of a key player, Dubliner Robbie Brady, which hurt far more and will have bigger implications for a side which was enjoying a superb run of form and a place in the top six of England's top flight.

Burnley's medical staff will later this week issue a fresh bulletin on the extent of Brady's injury.

But the fact that he was stretchered off, with his leg in a brace due to a knee injury sustained in a clash with Harry Maguire, and taken to hospital, underlines the seriousness of the injury.

There's no confirmation yet but some reports claimed it was a knee ligament injury, which would rule the 25-year-old out for a number of months. Even though the next competitive international will not come around until September of next year, the idea of Brady being sidelined for a long spell, at a stage in the season when Seamus Coleman is close to ending his own injury-enforced absence, will be of some concern.

Brady had been in superb form for his club, having just scored a stunning goal in a midweek Premier League win, his first goal (excluding League Cup) for club or country in 33 games.

Now Burnley can only sit and await the details of his injury but boss Sean Dyche already knows it's not a minor issue.

"It looks more serious than not serious to me; that's all I can say," said the Burnley boss after the game.

"He's gone off to hospital, so we need to find out more before I can give the full facts.

"It's a blow because Robbie has been excellent lately. Some of his deliveries on Saturday were excellent and he's settled into the team nicely.

"He's a good character in the group and he's been building with his performances.

"On Saturday he started fantastically well, so it's a real knock for him. But we've had knocks like this before, so we'll rethink things and move forwards."

Before the loss to Leicester, Burnley - and Brady - had been in superb form. Aside from a defeat to Arsenal (where the Gunners got the win with a controversial late penalty) and a thumping by champions-elect Manchester City, the Clarets had been holding their own.

And Dyche admitted that the loss of Brady hurt in more ways than one. "I didn't think it was the exact turning point, but it wasn't helpful, he's in really good form," he said.

Brady's team-mate Steven Defour also admitted that the Dubliner would be a major loss.

"He was in good shape and he's also been in good form in the latest games, so I hope he will be all right," Defour said.

"He is very important to us. He scored a goal against Bournemouth, played a very good game against Arsenal and was in good shape against Leicester, so it's very unfortunate, especially for him."

The injury is a cruel blow for Brady and his club, as apart from Burnley and their three-man collection of Dublin-born first team regulars (Brady, Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward), it's a bleak time in the Premier League.

Outside of the Clarets, only three Irish players started for their clubs in the weekend Premier League programme: Ciaran Clark, Shane Duffy and Declan Rice, handed a start by West Ham boss David Moyes against Manchester City yesterday.

Rob Elliot has been dropped by Newcastle and there was no sign of either Harry Arter or Shane Long as Bournemouth faced up to Southampton yesterday.

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