Midfield player Will Hughes is back to his best for Derby County in victory over Huddersfield Town
DERBY County coach Andy Garner believes Will Hughes' display against Huddersfield Town showed why the midfielder is rated one of the country's top young players.
Hughes' dip in form in the previous two matches had made the headlines.
Supporters had wondered whether Nigel Clough would give the 17-year-old a breather but the Rams manager kept faith with the youngster, whose progress is being monitored by a number of big clubs in the Premier League.
Garner was impressed by Hughes' response.
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"I hope there were some scouts watching because I know what their report will say – I thought Will was outstanding," said Garner after the 3-0 victory at Pride Park.
"He got booed off last week against Blackburn," Garner added. "The gaffer made the point afterwards that we should not be booing a 17-year-old lad off ... he is 17!
"He had two bad games. Big deal. Players in the Premier League have two bad games.
"Against Huddersfield, he showed again what a good player he is.
"He showed what he is worth, that is for sure."
Garner was also delighted with a part of the game Hughes is not really renowned for.
"After about 60 minutes, I said to the gaffer I thought some of Will's tackling and getting the ball back was as good as I have seen," said Garner.
"We know all about his flair. We know he can pass and run with the ball, but he got in a few blocks and challenges – not bad for a little lad of nine stone!"
Hughes is hoping to win his second cap for the England Under-21 team tomorrow.
He is in the squad for a friendly against Sweden at Walsall's Banks's Stadium.
The former Repton School pupil made his England Under-21 debut in the victory over Northern Ireland in November.