Diallo faces old friends
AS reluctant as he may be to do it, Drissa Diallo is ready to break Stan Ternent's heart for a second time, writes Derek Davis.The Burnley boss was distraught when the Guinea international defender signed for Ipswich in the summer after being promised a deal to stay at Turf Moor.
AS reluctant as he may be to do it, Drissa Diallo is ready to break Stan Ternent's heart for a second time, writes Derek Davis.
The Burnley boss was distraught when the Guinea international defender signed for Ipswich in the summer after being promised a deal to stay at Turf Moor.
Now Diallo is ready to inflict further pain on his former boss by helping Ipswich achieve a double over the Lancashire side.
It is nothing personal, Diallo knows that Ipswich need to build on the 3-1 win over Bradford City last week.
He said: "They will be motivated, especially after the 6-1 defeat they suffered here. But it is vital we get three points to keep us in the play-off zone and to give us the confidence to get on a long run."
Burnley will forever hold a special place in his heart after being signed by Ternent when Belgian champions Mechelen hit financial rock bottom and the Clarets' boss is held in high affection – not only for giving him his chance but also for the way Ternent reacted to his move to Ipswich.
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Diallo said: "Stan is a top man in my book. Not only did he give Mo Camara permission to join training late so he could be at my wedding but he sent a lovely card wishing us the best.
"He gave me my chance in England and I would have loved to have signed for him but Burnley were not in a position to do so financially.
"Stan had offered me and Graham Branch contracts but told me he needed to clear it with the chairman first and I did not hear back.
"Stan knew I could not wait any longer and Ipswich had made me a good offer which I accepted.
"He was upset but knew the situation and knew it was not really my fault.
"Stan showed he held no grudges, first by the card and then when Burnley played at Portman Road he invited me into the dressing room before the game so I could say hello to the lads."
Diallo helped make up for some of Burnley's disappointment by recommending 28-year-old defender Camara to Ternent, who subsequently signed the Guinea international.
Diallo said: "I knew Burnley needed a left back and I knew Mo had ended his contract with Wolves and they had been promoted to the Premiership. After playing virtually all the games the season before and helping Wolves to the play-offs where they played Norwich he was not wanted by them anymore.
"Mo went to Burnley as I said he should and he has done really well. He is a good player and I knew he would get on with the manager because Stan is an honest straightforward guy. He likes people who are hard working and straight and Mo is just that, and a good footballer."
Diallo missed playing in the 6-1 thrashing of Burnley last October as he was suffering knee ligament damage but knows how much the Clarets are looking for revenge.
He said: "I speak to Mo two or three times a week and I was on the phone with him a couple of days ago. He told me how motivated they all were to show they are a better side than that 6-1 game."
In one of those strange quirks that football throws up, Diallo's English debut was for the Clarets against Ipswich, while Camara's first game in England after joining Wolves from Le Havre for £100,000, was against Burnley.
Diallo recalls: "It was a total surprise to virtually everyone. My agent had fixed up a trial and I had arrived to play a reserve game on the Wednesday but my international clearance had not come through.
"I trained with the first team on the Thursday and that night Stan offered me a one-month loan deal on condition my clearance came through. It had not arrived by Friday morning but as we went out for training the fax came so I signed and the next day I made my debut against Ipswich." Diallo played so well that he was made man of the match by the Burnley press and Blues boss Joe Royle made a mental note to keep an eye on his progress.
A couple of goals came and he ended up being suspended for the final few Burnley games and so sat in the Pride Park crowd as Ipswich beat Derby on the final day of the season.
As Town were still in administration they were not allowed to sign the 31-year-old and had to wait until the beginning of June when they came out and had got Finidi George off the wage bill, before tying down the deal.
The Guinea international was allowed to arrive back for pre-season a few days late due to his wedding in his homeland where Camara was a guest and the card from Stan meant such a lot.