Nigel Clough backs Will Hughes to impress

Clough backs Hughes to impress
© PA Photos
Derby County boss Nigel Clough expects midfielder Will Hughes to "pick up where he left off" in the new Championship campaign.

Derby County boss Nigel Clough has claimed that he expects Will Hughes to "pick up where he left off" in the new Championship campaign.

The 18-year-old, who has previously attracted the interest of Manchester United and Barcelona, is regarded as one of the brightest talents in English football.

"I expect Will to pick up where he left off last season, and if he does that, then there will inevitably be more interest in him from the top, top clubs," Clough told reporters at a press conference. "And in a way, we hope there is that interest because it would mean he is playing well for us.

"We are excited about seeing quite a few of the players this season but him more than anybody, really, after what he did for 30-odd games last season before his injury. He looks in good shape now and he has looked good in pre-season.

"He has got his A-Levels out of the way now, which is good news because now he can just concentrate on his football, and he looks strong. There is not many 17-year-old's playing in the Championship. What he is doing is absolutely remarkable, but he is getting on a bit now at 18."

Derby open their Championship campaign at home to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.

Derby manager Nigel Clough on the touchline during the match against Forest on January 19, 2013
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