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Derby coach lauds 'excellent' Jamie Hanson, says first-team debut was 'long time coming'

Derby County coach Darren Wassall has heaped praise on 19-year-old Jamie Hanson.

Derby County may have lost 1-0 to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, but Academy Manager Darren Wassall has heaped prise on teenage midfielder Jamie Hanson in an interview with the club's official website.

The Rams have now gone five games without a win after that defeat to Middlesbrough, with Patrick Bamford's goal putting a major dent in Derby's promotion hopes.

Steve McClaren's side are enduring a real wobble at the worst time, and now live five points off the automatic promotion places.

In what is a dark time for Derby fans, there has been one shining light - midfielder Jamie Hanson, who has emerged in the first team.

Hanson, much like highly-rated team mate Will Hughes, has developed in the Derby academy recently, and made his debut against Norwich City on Saturday.

Hanson scored the equalising goal in that 1-1 draw with his corner going directly into the net - with a helping hand from goalkeeper John Ruddy - and now the 19-year-old looks set to play a big part in Derby's run-in until the end of the season.

Academy Manager Darren Wassall has overseen Hanson's ascension into the first team, and said in an interview with Derby's official website that it's been a long time coming for a player who has been excellent for the youth team this season.

"It was fantastic for Jamie and it is thoroughly deserved," said Wassall. "He has been knocking on the door for many months now and everybody within the Academy knew about his potential. We knew he was good enough and it was great to see him get his opportunity."

"You could say that it has been a long time coming for him, because he has been excellent with the Under 21s and has been very consistent. He has played a lot of his football for the Under 21s at centre half so to come in and play the holding midfield role against a side like Norwich is exceptional."

"By all accounts, he did very well. We are all delighted for him as a whole club and it is great to see young players getting an opportunity. He’s a local lad and has been with us since he was under 9. He is a really dedicated lad who lives for football," he added.

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