HUDDERSFIELD Town’s Carabao Cup exit at Stoke was still a special night for Erik Durm.
Town’s 2-0 defeat was notable for two things – Saido Berahino’s first goal in two-and-a-half years and a comical ‘97th-minute’ own-goal from Juninho Bacuna.
But it was also a memorable match for World Cup-winning German full-back Durm, back in action for the first time after more than a year out injured.
The 26-year-old, signed in the summer from Borussia Dortmund, said: “For me, it was a special moment. I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess I’ve been out for 16 months since my last official game and it’s been a hard time for me. I’m happy to be back on the pitch and back in the team. I’m happy that I’ve come through healthy.
“I’m disappointed about the result. It’s difficult after such a game to discuss how I played.
“Now we have to look forward to Everton and work on picking up points in the Premier League. Now it’s okay to be disappointed and upset, but then we must focus on Everton.”
He said: “I’ve finally broken my duck! It’s been tough, I came to the club and wasn’t able to hit the ground running, which was disappointing for me, and for everybody else. All the lads came to me to celebrate and it was a special moment.”Tony Pulis claims his Middlesbrough youngsters received a footballing education as they saw off Rochdale.
Pulis made 10 changes including 16-year-old Nathan Wood and handed a second-half debut to 18-year-old midfielder Bilal Brahimi.
Goals from Marvin Johnson and Jordan Hugill secured Boro’s passage – Ryan Delaney pulled one back late on – and Pulis said: “It’s good experience for the young lads, and especially for the back four that played. They were up against physically-strong players, and they’re (Rochdale) a good side.
“They’ve got a team of men playing. People ask me why I want kids to go out and play football – they’ll get more out of that game than from any academy game.”
Assistant head coach Andy Crosby said Nigel Adkins hoped to add to Hull’s six summer arrivals before the loan transfer window shuts this week following their 4-0 defeat to Derby County.
Crosby said: “We need reinforcements without a doubt. We are trying. We have still got a few days left. We need players, no-one is getting away from that fact.”
Berahino’s header was his first Stoke goal since joining on a five-and-a-half-year deal in January last year.