BURTON Albion boss Nigel Clough says there is nothing sentimental about the signing of former Rams favourite Shaun Barker.
Despite being sidelined for more than four years with injury, Barker was registered in time to make his Brewers debut as an injury-time substitute against Derby County last night.
The Brewers secured a 1-0 win and Barker's first touch in an Albion shirt was to head the ball clear from the penalty area, something Clough sees as a major way the defender can contribute to the Brewers cause.
The Albion boss said: "There is nothing sentimental about signing Shaun. We need someone who can head the ball out of area from a corner in the 94th minute and I can't think of anyone we would prefer to send on in that situation. He went on, got his head on it and we survived.
"There will be times over the rest of the season when we will have a lead and we will need to defend it. Shaun is the best we have worked with over 18 years in heading the ball out of the penalty area.
"If you think about it, he did his knee before the London Olympics. That puts it into perspective and says volumes about his character. To want to come back after so long out, he deserves a chance.
"We have talked about having good characters around and he's right at the top of that list. What we are trying to do is build a good a squad of lads working their socks of as that's how we will stay in this league."
Barker has signed a short-term contract until January.
Clough said: "He insisted on that and was the first to say if anything happens with his knee then we will rip it up."