The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Luke Mur­ray

DERBY’S new striker Johnny Rus­sell has ad­mit­ted that he is go­ing to need to toughen up in the Cham­pi­onship.

Rus­sell joined Derby in a £750,000 deal from Dundee United ear­lier this sum­mer and marked his de­but with a goal in last week­end’s 1-1 draw against Black­burn.

He quickly found out what a buf­fet­ing he is go­ing to get in the Cham­pi­onship and said: “It was a tough game but that wasn’t a sur­prise and I know that I am go­ing to have to get used to that and it is up to me to deal with it.

“It seems to be a re­ally high tempo and very phys­i­cal so I am go­ing to have to get in a lit­tle bit bet­ter shape to cope.”

Rus­sell was taken off af­ter an hour as he still strives to reach his peak lev­els of fit­ness af­ter break­ing his leg in Fe­bru­ary.

He added: “Dur­ing pre­sea­son I was not at the fit­ness I would like to be be­cause I missed a lot of last sea­son due to in­jury but I will only get that with game time so that will come.

“It was re­ally good to get a goal out the way early.

“Per­haps the longer it went on with­out a goal might have got in my head, so I am glad I could get off the mark as early as pos­si­ble.”

SHAP­ING UP: Johnny Rus­sell

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