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Barker, "I'm a fool for pushing player over.


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SHAUN Barker has vowed to learn from his mistakes after his full debut for Derby County.

Barker conceded a needless foul that led to the only goal of the game as Sheffield United inflicted the Rams' first home defeat of the season at Pride Park on Saturday.

He was penalised for a tackle on Stephen Quinn in Derby's right-hand corner with 10 minutes of the match remaining and, from Keith Treacy's free kick, the ball looped beyond keeper Stephen Bywater, off the head of home striker Rob Hulse.

After the match, Rams boss Nigel Clough picked out Barker – a £900,000 summer signing from Blackpool – for criticism for giving away the free kick.

But the Nottingam-born defender has no problems with the manager speaking his mind.


"The manager came in at the end of the game and said that had cost us," said Barker.

"I've gone to close him (Quinn) down and make sure he was tight in the corner.

"Maybe I've gone in a little bit too eagerly and he's gone down.

"I know him from when I was at Rotherham and he said afterwards that as soon as he felt something, he was going down.

"It's probably clever from him and a little bit disappointing from me.

"It wasn't a major foul but the referee has given it and it led to the goal, which was disappointing.

"The manager has pulled me up on that and told me that he wasn't happy with it.

"That's fair enough and I will try to learn from my mistakes. I will take these things in the right way. I was disappointed to give away the free kick and to concede the goal but that shows that I want to do well for the club."

Apart from the result, Barker was pleased to be handed his first league start for Derby, having been hampered by a thigh injury during the early part of the season.

"It was good to get the nod," said the 26-year-old, who replaced Jake Buxton in the centre of the Rams' defence.

"I've played a couple of practice games and felt quite sharp but I don't think anything quite prepares you for first-team football."

Barker was given a torrid time by Blades striker Darius Henderson in the first half of the match.

"For the first 10 or 15 minutes, I felt quite a bit off it," he admitted.

"It was hot out there and, with a big man like that up front against you, it certainly tested me.

"I don't think there are any tougher players to play against in this division than him.

"He's very good at what he does and plays to his strengths.

"It's all about how you adapt to it and I felt we dealt with them pretty well until the goal, which was disappointing.

"As the game went on, I felt a bit stronger and happier.

"It was just good to get my first game under my belt, especially with it being at Pride Park."

He added: "With us being at home, we were always looking to get the three points but we looked steady at 0-0 and a point wouldn't have been a bad result.

"It probably wasn't the best game to watch but it was a good contest and we were playing one of the better teams in the league."

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