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30 October 2014

Skipper looking forward to weekend clash

Burton Albion captain and assistant caretaker manager Ian Sharps is looking forward to embracing his temporary role at the club, but maintain the most important thing is the team’s performance on Saturday as the Brewers prepare to take on Plymouth Argyle at the Pirelli Stadium.

Sharps is filling the role following Gary Rowett’s move to Birmingham City along with his backroom staff. Subsequent caretaker manager Mike Whitlow is being assisted in his role by two of the most senior playing staff in Lee Bell and Sharps. Sharps, 34, expressed his interest at taking the next step in his career.

“The role is a new experience, but you have to take the leap one day. I’m getting to the age now where you need to start looking at other things in life and it’s something I am interested in. I’ve got to learn a lot from people like Mike Whitlow and others in the club, to progress forward,” Sharps said.

The Brewers skipper was confident the familiarity of the dressing room environment will help himself and Bell in their role.

“It’s not that strange an environment in the fact that we know all the lads and we know the strengths and weaknesses of everyone. We’re just trying to help Mike out; such as, if there’s things he hasn’t seen like away games or how people will react to certain situations” he added.

This weekend’s Sky Bet League Two clash pits the Brewers against sixth place Plymouth, who only trail Albion by two points. Sharps knows three points are key and doesn’t regard who puts his name on the team sheet as a big deal.

“First and foremost we need to win our game on Saturday. It’s nothing to do with who picks the team, whoever goes out onto the pitch has to try and win the game.

“Plymouth are a good side with good players but we’re third in the league; also a good side with good players. We’ve got to start stamping our authority on games again. We’ve gone off the boil recently losing the last four out of six games.

“We need to improve on that if we want to do something this season, we’re more than capable of doing that in this league and we don’t want Gary leaving to affect that,” Sharps continued.

Looking back over Rowett’s time at the club, Sharps recalls it fondly and knows that the time he spent at the club benefitted all parties involved however it is time to move on.

“Everyone has helped everyone at this club, Gary has lifted the clubs profile and many of the players’ profile. While at the same time the players and the club have lifted Gary’s profile; he’s had many championship clubs sniffing around him by the sounds of things so good luck to him.

“The lads have all liked him and all wish him well but it’s time to move on now because Burton are no longer with Gary Rowett, he will be thinking about Birmingham this weekend and we have to think about Burton.”

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