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5 April 2014

Experienced Striker ready for the run-in

Experienced striker Gary Alexander returned to the starting line-up against Plymouth Argyle and the player signed from Crawley Town at the end of January enjoyed one of his best performances so far in a Burton shirt as the Brewers ran out 1-0 victors over John Sheridan's side. Although not directly involved in the goal itself Alexander's performance certainly impressed and the striker feels that his partnership with Billy Kee will improve in the coming games.

"The more we play together the better the partnership becomes between us" Gary said, "It was good for us today. We caused them a few problems and perhaps it was credit to us that they took their centre half off at half time. That was a boost for ourselves as well."

Many of the games in the division have been tight hard fought encounters and Alexander knows that is what is to be expected at this level of football.

"Every game in League 2 is a tough battle especially with big centre halves out there, usually bigger than myself and Bill but we have just got to do the best we can out there and we have done that today to good effect."

There was plenty of concern when Gary went to ground under a challenge from Argyle skipper Conor Hourihane in the second half and although he was able to run off the knock eventually he was later substituted as a precaution with the striker having only had two substitute appearances since his last start against Torquay United at the end of February as Alexander explained.

"I got caught from behind and it was quite a bad tackle to be honest but that is all part and parcel of the game. I feel a bit stiff right now but it was just great to get some meaningful game time under my belt."

Alexander was also full of praise for his defensive colleagues who had to deal with the physical threat of Enoch Showunmi, Reuben Reid and later Marvin Morgan who all did their best to unsettle the Brewers back line but a clean sheet was preserved as the defence held firm.

"They started the game quite well but we came into it more and for sure their keeper has had to make more saves that ours. They had a lot of play in the second half without really creating much. At the end of the day Plymouth is a big club for this league and they are entitled to have their little spell in the game but our defence and Belly just in front were magnificent in preventing the balls into their three big lads up front. Every time they tried to get it forward then our defence seemed to do their job and the ball ran through to Rob [Lainton] most of the time."

With Alexander back for the run-in and Michael Symes also getting some meaningful game time against the Pilgrims the Brewers have players coming back to fitness at just the right time, something that will be needed int he remaining weeks of the season.

"Its all about having a good squad and it can only benefit Burton as a club having all of us, Adam, Michael, Billy and me all fit along with Dominic and all of us fighting for places keeping each other on our toes." admitted Gary,

"I have come into the club and ended up with an injury that I could have done without but I was back fit today and hopefully with the games left I can play my part and maybe even grab a couple of goals in the games that are left. We have a great squad here and everyone is going to have a part to play in the games that are left."

Alexander also has experience of promotion via the play-offs and feels that the current Burton squad certainly have the belief in themselves and what they are doing to achieve their aims for the season with automatic promotion still not out of the question.

"I have gone up and got promotion through the play-offs before but all of us in the dressing room still believe that we can catch the top three. Some of the results have gone for us today so it tightens things up and puts the pressure back on the teams above us. We will just keep plugging away and seeing if we can sneak in there. Who knows what might happen over these remaining games?"

"I play predominantly with my back to goal and try to hold things up. At this stage of my career then if I can create goals for others then that is great from my point of view. Its not all about me scoring the goals. Its about holding that ball up, bringing the midfield into it and helping to create chances from all over. I'm a big talker out there as well. I have got loads of games under my belt so if me or one of the other senior pros - Sharpsy, Belly and Shane have all played hundreds of games in their careers so if we can help the younger lads through it then all well and good."

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