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Clough won't rush Hughes back

Derby manager Nigel Clough has no intention of playing Will Hughes until he has fully recovered from a groin strain.

Last Updated: 28/02/13 at 15:53 Post Comment

Will Hughes: A big miss for Derby

Will Hughes: A big miss for Derby

As much as Clough admits the Rams are missing the teenager, he has already ruled the midfielder out of the next two matches against fourth-placed Crystal Palace at Pride Park on Friday and away to Championship leaders Cardiff on Tuesday.

Hughes missed his first game of the season against Bolton on February 19 after injuring his groin against Wolves in the previous fixture. The 17-year-old remained sidelined for Derby's defeat at Watford last weekend.

Clough has not put a timescale on when his prized-asset, who has been watched by several Premier League clubs this season, will be back - only insisting it will not be until he is fully fit.

"There has been no real improvement in the injury and, as much as we want Will back on the pitch, the bigger picture comes into view. We have to make sure he is right," Clough told reporters ahead of the visit of Palace.

"If he was a 28 or 29-year-old professional, we would be patching him up and getting him back on the pitch. But we do not want any long-term effects.

"We will give him as long as he needs and we will make sure he is right."

Clough added: "We missed Will at Watford, as we did against Bolton. Watford was the sort of game where you wanted somebody to get a foot on the ball and create, or thread a pass through."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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