Keegan issues heavy fines to misbehaving trio

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The Independent Football

The Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan has fined Nicky Weaver, Richard Dunne and Jeff Whitley the maximum two weeks' wages for a late-night drink-related incident.

The furious City manager was only talked into giving them a first-team reprieve by their colleagues in a clear-the-air meeting. The goalkeeper Weaver and the centre-back Dunne, along with the injured midfielder Whitley, had become involved in a row with bouncers at a nightclub in Liverpool last week. Keegan was fuming when he heard the reports and initially told the three that they would be punished – and, in the cases of Weaver and Dunne, dropped.

Keegan then turned to the rest of the City squad at a meeting before the match at Walsall on Saturday and some senior players begged him to give the trio another chance. Weaver – the England Under-21 goalkeeper – played and kept a clean sheet in the goalless draw, while Dunne, hailed as the best defender in the First Division by Keegan, also excelled. But the former England manager's patience is being sorely tested by some of his players' antics at a club where a so-called "drinks culture" helped cost Joe Royle his job last year.

Weaver's first-team place is under threat, with Keegan rumoured to be chasing Leicester's Ian Walker, and Dunne could also be sacrificed. Whitley's chances of a return to the starting eleven will also have been severely damaged by the incident.