HUGHES: SQUAD POWER CAN LIFT DERBY
DERBY County starlet Will Hughes believes the influx of senior reinforcements at Pride Park will be key to a promotion push this season.
Hughes is fresh from a breakthrough campaign, having played 38 times for the Rams and, at 17, becoming the second youngest player to appear for the England U21s in a friendly – against Northern Ireland last November.
This year Rams boss Nigel Clough has bulked up his side with six new signings – including midfield enforcer John Eustace, left-back Craig Forsyth and Scottish striker Johnny Russell – and experience appears to be the watchword at Pride Park.
Hughes believes having a deeper squad to draw form could be just the ticket for the Premier League.
“Everyone wants to say we’re looking to go up and in many aspects that’s a realistic objective,” said 18-year-old Hughes.
“The players we’ve brought in, the likes of Craig and Johnny, gives us competition for places that perhaps we didn’t have last year – that’s healthy.
“The addition of John Eustace will be vital because I think we need that sort of player to close games out if we’re winning away from home which I don’t think we had the experience of last season.
“Everyone’s settled in really well, there’s a family environment around the club and they’ve just added to it.
“They’re really nice lads and as we’ve seen during pre-season, they are good footballers as well.”