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2 August 2014

Boss happy with Potters workout

Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett was very pleased following the 0-0 draw with a Stoke City XI at the Pirelli Stadium.

The Potters included a host of international players in their starting line-up and Albion held their own and had chances of their own to win the game.

Reflecting on pre-season, Rowett says he’s been impressed by what he’s seen of his side.

“I would say the games we’ve played so far I’ve been really impressed with a lot of attributes of the team. In our last few games we’ve played Mainz the German team, Derby County and Stoke, and we’re yet to concede a goal from open play.”

“That aspect of the game has been really good and we’ve created chances as well. We created chances against a very good Stoke team and that’s really pleasing,” he said.

Rowett admitted he was surprised by the strength of the visitors, but gave him all the more reason to be pleased as his side created problems for the Stoke defence.

“We were a bit surprised by the strength of their side, and we felt they might bring an under 21 team but it shows the depth of their squad, where they bring only one player who hasn’t played in the Premier League. They may have been a bit short on fitness but we did really well.

“You worry about maintaining the tempo and in spells in the second half we dropped off a bit, but I was really pleased with everything we did today.

“We’ve shown different things in different games. We caused Sheffield United a lot of problems going forward, and we managed to cope with what Derby threw at us and caused problems of our own. We’ve proved we can play against the top teams and create chances regardless of how we play.

“Our quality and our passing has been quite good, we’ve kept the ball where we’ve needed to in the areas where we struggled last season,” added Rowett.

With the League Two curtain raiser at Oxford United only a week away, the boss says there are still places up for grabs in the starting line-up, and that some pre-season performances have given him food for thought.

“I think there a few places where people are putting pressure on. George Taft has done well at left side centre back and Shane was one of our best players last season.

"We want them to make our decisions difficult and we have four excellent strikers. I thought Dominic Knowles was very bright in the first half and put in a real stake for next week.”

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