Derby boss delighted with Barnes return

Derby County boss Billy Davies is delighted Giles Barnes is on the way back to full fitness.

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The home game against Bolton Wanderers on September 29 looks to be the likely return date for the 19-year-old.

Davies sees Barnes as the player who can spice up the side's counter-attacking threat and the manager is delighted he still has the youngster in his ranks.

West Ham United wanted Barnes but the Hammers' "substantial" deadline-day offer was rejected.

"I'm very pleased he's still here, absolutely, and fingers crossed we can get him back in action sooner rather than later because his absence has been a massive blow," said Davies.

"He is making progress and has started to up his training but I still think we will do well to have him back for the Arsenal game. He's miles short of match practice.

"Stress fractures sometimes heel quickly, other times they don't. This one has taken a fair bit of time.

"His pace and strength have been a massive loss. It is something we need going forward.

"Breaking on the counter-attack is something we will have to work on while we get our feet under the table in the Premier League.

"Barnesy's pace on the counter-attack would have been a great asset for us. The one thing we are missing at the moment is that option to hit teams on the break.

"The signing of Kenny Miller will also help."

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