DERBY County boss Steve McClaren has admitted he was as surprised as anyone to keep hold of Burnley target Craig Bryson.

The goalscoring midfielder was expected to be added to the Clarets squad ahead of their Premier League season.

But, despite holding talks after Burnley triggered a £750,000 clause in his contract, the 27-year-old had a dramatic change of heart and signed a new five-year deal with the Rams.

"We thought we had lost Craig Bryson. I didn't think we would keep hold of him,” said McClaren.

"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 (chief executive) and Chris Evans (head of football operations) have got it over the line and he stays.


"What a great boost. It is like a new signing.

"Craig Bryson wants to play in the Premier League - everybody wants to play in the Premier League," said McClaren.

"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.

"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."