Stats: Derby County boss waxes lyrical over Will Hughes - here's why

Derby County stadium entrance

Championship title chasing Derby County recently slayed Bournemouth by a 2-0 score to maintain their push for honours this season.

Derby County laboured to a 2-0 triumph over Bournemouth at the iPro Stadium as two late goals saved the Rams blushes, banked an extra three points and saw the club move up to fourth place in the Championship table.

For manager Steve McClaren, it was a case of patience proving a virtue as, though the South Coast club were difficult to break down, Derby eventually prospered as Will Hughes struck from 15 yards after linking up with Chris Martin in the 81st minute, before Martin doubled the club's lead having poached on Johnny Russell's right-sided pass.

Steve McClaren told the club's official website: “They were frustrating us, they were very compact, very defensive and they made it difficult.

"It was just a case of being patient and hoping that, in the end, we got our rewards. It’s important to keep a clean sheet and we felt we could do that," he said.

"Whenever we achieve that, we have got a chance of winning the game because we’ve got players who can score goals.

"They were two very good goals to win it. We kept our patience, we got the goal and it took something special, which we knew it always would and Will provided it."

  PosTeamTouch / gamePass AccFwd passMins / key passAssistDribble / gameShots / gameGoalsAppsMins Played
Hughes CM Derby 57.4 88% 26% 60.91 1 1.2 0.9 2 10 670

Hughes has long excited fans. Ever since he looked a level above Ravel Morrison two years ago against Birmingham City, the teenage phenom has improved from a technical stand-point, while also showing a maturity that belies his prospect status.

The 19-year-old has piqued the interest of Premier League clubs - Liverpool in particular - but McClaren has indicated that he is looking forward to continuing to work with the player on the training ground in order to develop him further.

"We had good combinations around the box," said McClaren. "Chris Martin was brilliant, he could have squared, but he crossed it back and Will finished it very well."

On what Hughes does well, McClaren concluded: "Will keeps the ball for us and his movement is good, he’s got energy and he can score and assist. That’s what we need; we need more of that from him to develop as a player."

Hughes receives close to 60 touches of the ball on average per game and has shown a precision in the pass that rivals elite-level midfielders.

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