TOM Flanagan says that he realised just what a big step Burton Albion had made this season as soon as he started playing Championship football.
“I’m the first to admit that I underestimated the Championship,” he said. “The gap between League One, where I have played lots of games, and the Championship is huge. I didn’t underestimate it massively but I just didn’t realise quite how much of a difference it will be.
“It was the first game, within 20 minutes to be honest. Everyone was running a bit quicker, the ball was moving around faster. You see people do things in games that don’t usually happen and that just shows the quality in the league.
“I really do love it and I want Burton to stay in the Championship and I can stay at Burton and we can do it all again next year. That’s the thought and focus of everyone.
"The games come thick and fast, bigger stadiums, better players and it brings out the best in you. It’s really exhilarating.
“It would be massive if we stayed in the Championship but I also don’t want it to be the biggest thing to happen in football. I feel like people have written us off and think if we stay up it will be amazing, but we work hard every day. We have a good team and the manager has worked hard to get the players in he wanted. We don’t want to do it by the seat of our pants, we want to do it with a bit of quality and a few games to spare. We don’t want to leave it to the last day.
“The aim if we do stay up is to progress. That starts now. We need to secure it as quickly as possible to build for the future.”