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Rowett: It's going to be difficult

21 February 2014

Brewers boss previews Rovers trip

Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett knows that his team will be in for a tough game when they travel to take on Bristol Rovers tonight.

The Brewers, unbeaten in four, travel to the South West to face a Rovers side struggling at the wrong end of the table, although Rowett believes the Gas are in a somewhat false position.

“It’s going to be a difficult game. Their home form has been ok and our away form has been very game. We haven’t won as many games as we’d have liked over the last eight games, but we’ve only lost once in 14.

“There’s a flip side to everything and we’re getting a real consistency, although we have to win more games before the end of the season, but whilst we’re being competitive in every game I’m more than happy as a manager.

“We know what we’ve got to do and it’s a case of whether the players can go out and execute that game plan well,” Rowett said.

Whilst the Gas are fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table, Rowett isn’t paying attention to league standings, suggesting that tonight’s opposition could cause problems.

“When you look at the players they’ve got, Tom Parkes is a very good player and John-Joe O’Toole has scored 11 goals from midfield. They have some good players and experienced players in their team, and you don’t really look at an opposition and think ‘we should win this’.

“If you look at this stage last season, they went on an unbeaten run and ended up just short of the play-offs, and they can probably do that again. John Ward is a very good, experienced manager and their league position belies their form a little bit,” Rowett added.

With tonight’s game being the only fixture in the division, Albion can move up to third with victory – But Rowett is focusing towards an end of season points tally rather than short term movement.

“It’s an advantage if we can win or draw as we can move up a couple of places and put pressure on people. The issue for us is that there are still 15 games left and we’re playing against a points tally. 

“We know that 80 points is an automatic promotion target, and 70 points is a play off target. If we can get somewhere in between that then we’ll be ok, it’s just about what end of the spectrum we end up on,” said Rowett.

Rowett also reflected on recent transfer activity, and says Zander Diamond’s loan move to Northampton Town will allow him to get some game time with the Brewers well covered in defence.

You can only stop playing people for so long before they become frustrated. They aren’t doing what they want to do on a Saturday. We have Marcus Holness who can slot in, as well as Phil Edwards and David Gray who can cover across the back. 

We have enough bodies to get through. Zander’s been an excellent player for us and we hope his move to Northampton is a success. We have a recall after 28 days should we need him but there’s an opportunity for him to go and play football.”

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