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Green and Hulse, by Our Nigel.


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PAUL Green played for an hour at the weekend in his first start in a month.

The Derby County midfielder has been troubled by bruising on the foot he broke last season.

He made three successive appearances as a substitute before resting the injury in the two-week international break.

The 26-year-old was recalled to the starting line-up for Saturday's defeat by Sheffield United and lasted 62 minutes before being replaced by Jake Livermore.

"Greenie is fine, it was just difficult for him coming straight back into it," said manager Nigel Clough.


"He was not quite with the pace of the game. Mind you, Jake Livermore gave the ball away nine times out of 10 when he came on."

Green made only his third start of the campaign and was pleased to be back.

"It's going to take a few games to get the sharpness I want but I was pleased to get an hour under my belt," he said.

"It has been a frustrating start to the season for me. My foot was sore but I wanted to play when I could."

Striker Rob Hulse came in for only his third start as well, and against his former club.

He had a tough afternoon against his old team-mates Chris Morgan and Matt Kilgallon.

"Rob battled away against probably the best centre-halves in the League," said Clough.

"We just did not get enough quality in to him and when we did win corners or free kicks, we wasted them."

Before the game, Clough tipped United to be in the promotion shake-up again this season and saw nothing to change his mind.

"I expect them to be right up there," he said.

"I don't want to heap pressure on them but you would expect them to make a challenge for automatic promotion and certainly a place in the top four or five."

Asked if Derby could have taken the game to the visitors a bit more, Clough replied: "We took it to them as much as we could in the circumstances.

"When you think, in the first 20 minutes or half an hour, they put us under a lot of pressure and that was with five in midfield.

"If we had left two up, we might have left ourselves a little bit too open.

"That is the system we have been playing. We have scored goals with it. Sheffield United played the same way with one up and won the game."

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