By 90Min
September 26, 2019

Derby County have released a strongly-worded statement regarding their players' behaviour after a small group of Phillip Cocu's squad went out drinking into the early hours - resulting in Richard Keogh suffering an injury that has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Forwards Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett were arrested and charged for an alleged drink-driving incident on Tuesday night, in the aftermath of a club-sanctioned night out.

While the two forwards were largely unscathed, Keogh - who had been an ever-present in for the Rams this season in their eight Championship fixtures - suffered significant injuries in the passenger seat, including a suspected broken wrist as well as damage to his knee.

In light of the unsavoury incident, Derby released a statement on their official website giving their opinion of the matter: "As a club, we cannot, and do not, condone the actions of a small group of players on Tuesday evening.

"The players were out as part of a scheduled team-building dinner with staff and while the majority of them acted responsibly and left at around 8pm and were not involved, a small group, including the team captain Richard Keogh, continued drinking into the night. They should have known when to stop and also ignored the opportunity to be driven home using cars laid on by the club, and chose to stay out.

"As a result of an alcohol-related incident, Richard Keogh has sustained a serious knee injury that will prevent him from playing until the end of the season.

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"The players involved in the incident on Tuesday evening will be subject to a rigorous internal investigation under the club’s code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, but over and above any punishment they receive we will be expecting them to become involved with the excellent work the Community Trust does helping the communities we serve.

"We have been very clear about our attitude towards alcohol and the players know that at certain and specific times of the season they are permitted a drink together as a group in a controlled environment.

"Those involved in Tuesday’s incident know they will pay a heavy price for their actions, but also that we will support them with their rehabilitation back into the squad and team.

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"We fully support the work of our partners at Drinkaware and the unsanctioned actions of this small group of players is totally at odds the stance that both Drinkaware and Derby County Football Club take regards alcohol. We will be using this situation to redouble our efforts in highlighting the dangers posed by alcohol.

"We would also like to thank the emergency services for their swift help."

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