Football - Bennett still in Rams thinking

Derby manager Nigel Clough is pleased with the progress Mason Bennett is making, despite the teenager's disappearance from the limelight.

PA Sport

Bennett burst on to the scene as a schoolboy last season, making seven first-team appearances before Christmas and getting a further two outings before the end of the campaign.

The academy product made his debut at Middlesbrough in October 2011 to become the club's youngest-ever player at 15 years and 99 days old, beating the record set by Lee Holmes in 2002.

Bennett has dipped back under the radar having made just three appearances so far this season, all of them from the substitute's bench.

But Clough insists he is making good progress and that it is easy to forget how young the player is.

"He's not going to have as much of an opportunity because he is going to be behind Nathan Tyson, Theo Robinson and Conor Sammon," said the Rams boss.

"People keep forgetting that he is only 16 and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. Look at him physically and he looks a lot more mature, but he is only 16.

"He is going to have his ups and downs and he has had a few niggling injuries. We have just got to give Mason time."

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