Jeff Hendrick's recent omission from the Derby starting line-up will be beneficial to the midfielder, according to manager Nigel Clough.

Hendrick, last season's young player of the year at Pride Park, has been on the bench for the Rams' last two matches following 16 starts this campaign.

The 20-year-old has struggled to recapture his form of last season, with Craig Bryson and 17-year-old Will Hughes forming a central midfield partnership in the recent home matches against Birmingham and Cardiff, in which Hendrick made brief substitute appearances.

However, Clough feels a breather will do Hendrick no harm and has backed the youngster to come back stronger.

"We have been forced to play him almost continually for the best part of 18 months," said Clough. "But now we don't have to. He can have a little rest and watch the game.

"It is important to watch as a young player. He hasn't done as well this season as he did last but coming out of the team will not do him any harm at all."