Rowett reviews Southend win
Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett was pleased to beat Southend United 1-0 in the first lweg of the play-off semi finals, but is taking nothing for granted heading into next week’s second leg.
Adam McGurk’s goal just before half-time sealed the win, but Rowett knows there is still plenty of hard work to do.
“We’re halfway there, but only just. We’re not taking anything for granted and we’re pleased that we got a lead in the circumstances of the game. Ian Sharps has been sent off for two dubious decisions and the huge moment in the game has gone against us.
“It gives us a mountain to climb in the second leg but we’ve got a lead so we have something to hang onto. We’ll be very focused this week on recovery and making sure we’re ready to go.
“We started really well, and we’ll attack as much as anyone. I was pleased to be at home first as it allowed us to get at them and get in their faces. We lacked composure in the first 20 minutes and you’re going to get that in these sorts of games. It was great link up play between Billy and Adam, with a wonderful touch and a wonderful finish,” said Rowett.
McGurk’s goal was his eleventh of the season, and Rowett has always backed the striker to score goals in big games.
“I’ve said all season that he’s capable of it, and he’s a terrific player with bags of ability. With a club like ours we have to embrace it and make sure we give him as much encouragement as we can as he can win games for us,” he said.
Rowett expected the physical contest that was played out at the Pirelli Stadium, and praised his defenders after the sending off of Ian Sharps.
“It’s going to be physical as there’s a lot on the line for both sides. By not penalising some early challenges the referee perhaps made it more physical.
“Again we’ve had to patch up our defence and sometimes the players you bring in just stand up a bit more. Phil Edwards has gone in today and been a man mountain. He was huge for us today and so was Marcus Holness. We need one or two of the players to put those performances in again,” Rowett said.
There were no real injury concerns coming out of the game, and Rowett has encouraged the Brewers faithful to travel to Southend in numbers and see the team over the line.
“Zeli had a tight hamstring and I wouldn’t have taken him off otherwise. Adam McGurk came off with cramp and we just hope that Zeli’s hamstring is just tight. I’d say he’s the only doubt for next weekend but I expect everyone else to be ok.
“The crowd were brilliant. We needed them today and they were magnificent. They weren’t huge in numbers but they were massive in their voice and we’ll need them down at Roots Hall next weekend.”