Brewers boss disappointed with away displayBurton Albion boss Gary Rowett was 'hugely disappointed' with his team's display in going down to a 2-0 defeat away at Bristol Rovers. The Brewers battled hard to keep their hosts at bay for seventy minutes but ultimately were undone by close range finishes from David Clarkson and John-Joe O'Toole to condemn the Brewers to only a third away defeat of the campaign. Rowett gave a frank and honest assessment of the game admitting that his side deserved nothing from the game.
"We spoke to the players before the game about being tough and trying to be effective at what we do because it wasn't an easy pitch to play on and the conditions made it such that you had to do certain things well but I have to be honest and say that I thought that Bristol Rovers did those things better than us and I have no complaints. I am hugely disappointed in our performance but there are no complaints about the result at all."
"Prior to today we had only had something like one defeat in fourteen games which is something we can be rightly proud of and I said to the players that it is nice to be part of something like that and its an enjoyable thing but I reminded them before tonight that it counts for nothing going into this game and now we have to go again. The message remains exactly the same after the game as well. We have to take this on the chin and we have to start another run going. I think that Bristol are a good side. they are a big strong side and they are very, very difficult to play against and you can argue that the scoreline tonight could have been bigger and we didnt create too much tonight. We have fourteen games left now and its in our hands now what we do with them. We can really kick on and try and do a little bit more which we will try our best to do but we are still in a terrific position. We are just disappointed and our pride will be dented over the weekend for sure."
On a difficult Memorial Stadium pitch with large patches of mud down the centre of the pitch it was not a game for the purist and flowing football was never easy but Rowett felt that Rovers kept Albion's dangerous wingmen subdued on a difficult night.
"Bristol got the ball forward early and occupied our two centre halves playing off that and it became a game of 'seconds'. We got the ball forward well on a few occasions but then we didnt capitalise on the second ball anywhere near as well as they did. We had or two bright moments in the first half where when we did get it forward and Billy got that first flick on for us suddenly we found ourselves in a little bit of space but I felt that the Bristol full backs dealt very well with our wingers tonight and most that we have come up against recently have struggled to contain Zeli and Jimmy has been playing well but I have to give credit to Bristol for the way they dealt with that. Sometimes I'd let to get a game where I take my hat off to the opposition and say they were better than us and I think that game is tonight when I can honestly say that John's team were better than us on the evening."
From being strong contender for automatic promotion Albion's recent form has seen them stutter slightly with the gap at the top starting to open up but Rowett is fully aware of what his side needs to do to invigorate their promotion aspirations.
"It is important that we accept what we didnt do well tonight and see if we can raise our game. We havent won enough of our last eight or nine games. We have been hard to beat but havent won enough of them to really get us where we want to be and that is something we are going to have to improve on."
"I think people cam get bogged down and obsessed by formations. We have come here and played 4-4-2 with two strikers and two out and out wingers and come up against a Bristol side playing 4-5-1 and they have created more chances than we have so in terms of what makes for good attacking it is not always straightforward to say what works best. We are one of the more attacking sides in the division and yet we have kept loads of clean sheets so far which is down to good defending. What we havent done is show that little bit of extra quality in attack. Bristol put lots of good balls into good areas that were very difficult to defend especially when it just gets dropped in between the back four and keeper and it sticks in the mud and you have to just hack it clear."
"At the end of the day its all about winning games. Bristol are where they are because they havent won enough and we are where we are because we have. There is no magic formula and we have to just keep pushing the boundaries a little bit more to get to where we want to be."