Duo have bright futures - Clough
Derby manager Nigel Clough believes teenagers Mason Bennett and Will Hughes will have benefited greatly from gaining first-team experience against Portsmouth.
Striker Bennett and midfielder Hughes have spent the majority of the season as regulars in the Rams' Under-18 side but came off the bench as second-half substitutes at Fratton Park on Saturday. Such has been their progress that the 15 and 16-year-old made their first-team debuts earlier this season, with Bennett becoming the club's youngest-ever player at 15 years and 99 days against Middlesbrough in October. Clough told Derby's official website: "For the last few weeks we have talked about giving Mason and Will a bit more time on the pitch and the Portsmouth game presented the perfect opportunity for them to get out there. "We would have loved to have given them a few more minutes in recent weeks but the timing has not been right for a number of reasons, so it was good to finally get them out there again because they have earned the chance and we are excited about them and what the future holds for both players. "They will have benefited so much from just a few minutes out there. I thought Will actually improved us in midfield when he came on and he had a chance to score as well, while Mason was a threat during the brief time he was on the pitch."