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23 February 2014

Skipper give frank assessment of Rovers result

Central defender and skipper Ian Sharps pulled no punches in his assessment of Burton Albion's defeat at the hands of Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium admitting that the Brewers were 'second best' to a Rovers side who have lost just twice at home this season.

"Basically they played well and we didnt" said Sharps, "We were second best all over the pitch tonight. They dominated the game from the start to be honest, they had more chances, more possession and they played the conditions much better than us. We werent good enough tonight and we have to hold our hands up to that and get ready to go again on Tuesday now."

"We will get up in the morning and put this one behind us and start getting ready for another away game on Tuesday. We could have come here and played really well and still lost the game and be on the same points as we are now. Every team has a bad performance every now and again and that was ours tonight."

Burton have now lost three times in a row at the Memorial Stadium with a goal record of scored one and conceded twelve and Sharps admitted that it has not been a lucky ground for him either despite him not having been a part of the infamous 7-1 drubbing the Brewers suffered two seasons ago.

"It's not just Burton's unlucky ground, I think its mine too" Ian confessed, "By my reckoning I'm about 19-0 down on aggregate from games here!"

"Tonight though wasnt through lack of effort, maybe the effort wasnt in the right channels but you cant fault the lads for effort, we just werent good enough on the ball or on the second balls and we are all disappointed with how we played."

While Burton played Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend and make the trip to Rochdale for a hard fought game against fellow promotion chasers on Tuesday, Bristol Rovers had not been in action with their game last weekend postponed but Sharps refused to blame the Brewers schedule for their poor showing.

"We have had three games in six or seven days on heavy pitches and its been hard work. I am sure they (Bristol) were rubbing their hands this morning knowing that we had played on Tuesday night and Saturday and they had had over a week off but we can look for all the excuses we want but we are professional footballers and we can play three games in that period of time and we should be putting in better performances than that. It can be hard on the legs playing on pitches like we are now, not just for us more experienced lads but the younger players as well who are not used to it. It's easy to look for excuses though but at the end of the day you have to look at yourself and say did I perform or not and basically most of us will say we didn't perform tonight."

Albion now face their third away game in a week when they travel to Torquay on Tuesday for a re-arranged fixture after the inclement weather put paid to the game at the end of January and it is another opportunity for the Brewers to cement their place amongst the top seven. Despite the gap between seventh and eighth in the table suggesting that the play-off places are all but decided Sharps knows that with fourteen games to go there is still an awful lot to still play for as he explained:

"There is no point moping about this result for too long. We know we can go to Torquay and win and that has got to be our aim. If we want to be promoted we need to be looking for more than four points from these three away games but that is all that we can get now so we have to go for it and do all that we can to make sure that is what we get. It is still in our own hands and there is a third of the season still to go. Despite the gap between seventh and eighth we know we are nowhere near assured of a play-off place yet. You cant afford to look at it like that because the likes of Newport and Hartlepool arent that far behind and they can turn it around. We still have to play a lot of the teams around us and those games will give us a better idea of where we are at."

Torquay are battling for their League 2 lives and will give the Brewers another stern test but Sharps is adamant that Albion will have to go to Plainmoor with no excuses and an improved performance to get them back on track.

"We know that Tuesday will be another tough games similar to tonight's probably in terms of the conditions. I am sure they will have watched the game tonight and will think they can get a result but we have to make sure we play better than we have here. It's a long to go but we cant use that as an excuse and we have to perform better."

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