City boss Glenn Roeder this afternoon rejected the Daily Mirror's version of Sunday's events as the Matty 'Party' Pattison saga rumbled on.
Certain aspects of the paper's back page story were, said Roeder, true. “It's very bad what happened ? we know that,” said the City, clearly anxious not to under-play the seriousness of Pattison's alleged drink-driving offence after he was arrested at City's Colney training HQ on Sunday morning.
Others aspects, however, appeared to be wide of the mark. It seems 'Party' Pattison might be something of a new nickname; the fact that Roeder may well include Pattison in this weekend's squad for the crucial home clash with Colchester United suggests he is not – as the paper claimed – about to haul him off to Tony Adams' Sporting Chance Clinic for a period of alcoholic rehab.
Quizzed whether 21-year-old would be seeking outside help from the club after the incident, speaking at this afternoon's unveiling of new loan signing Maceo Rigters Roeder said: “You've asked that on the back of one of the stories in one of the tabloids.
“I know the journalist who wrote it very well and he has a story that has truth in it but there were a lot of things added on as extras to make it sound more sensational and make it look bad to Matty.
“It's very bad what happened ? we know that. But some of the things in the article are completely wrong.”
The piece also included quotes from a 'City source' who 'revealed' that Pattison's nickname in the dressing room was 'Party'.
Again Roeder was swift to dismiss suggestions there was a source within the club; a mole in the camp that had substantiated the story.
“There is also no club insider,” he insisted. “That's one of your favourite tricks saying 'a source within the club' ? crikey, we're much more intelligent than that ? that's just made up.”
The South African-bred player has been bailed to appear before Norwich magistrates on March 31. Roeder will, however, still consider the ex-Newcastle teenager for selection and could be in line to face Championship strugglers Colchester United on Saturday. Darel Russell's return from suspension offers him one way out, but Roeder is not about to judge any man before he reaches the courts.
“If it happened to any other person in society who had a job to do thereafter, I'm sure that person would be allowed to go back to work until such times it's been dealt with by the authorities,” said Roeder, who saw the unveiling of Rigters rather overshadowed by the whole Pattison affair.
“He's upset with himself enough. He will end up having to face the courts of the land at the end of the month and in between time we will not be treating him as some sort of leper.
“If I think he is right for selection for the first XI on Saturday he will be selected and he will have to show a strength of character to come through it. He is certainly not the first person to be breathalysed and over the limit except 99 per cent of people don't live their lives in the public eye.”
Roeder was determined not to under-play the seriousness of the incident, but has told Pattison that he can count upon the support of the Canaries.
“It's always disappointing if one of your players does something that he shouldn't be doing. We all realise it's something he shouldn't be doing, not just as a footballer, he shouldn't have been doing it full stop in general society.
“But the important thing is that he gets our support. I've spoken to him and I've spoken to his team-mates ? he deserves to be supported and will be supported. We are a family here.”
Roeder realises what a difficult time the former Newcastle man is going to face over the coming weeks but has backed the midfielder to come through it.
“There isn't one person who hasn't made a mistake that they regret,” added the City boss. “We do realise the seriousness of what happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. “Knowing Matty like I do I can't tell you how disappointed he is that he allowed that to happen.
“He is very unhappy with himself like I would have expected him to be. That's going to be with him for life ? you can't just rub it out. He's got to come through it and make sure that it never happens again.
“At times all of us need support and this is an opportunity for us to support him.”
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