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MANAGER'S VERDICT: WALSALL

4 September 2018

NIGEL Clough was pleased to give the players who needed it most some valuable game time as the Brewers lost 1-2 to Walsall in a lively Checkatrade Trophy game.

The Brewers manager said: "It was a good game between two young teams. There was a lot of good stuff, passing it around."

Two first half strikes from the visitors eventually proved enough to win the game despite a lot of Brewers pressure and a late goal in the second half.

Clough said: "Harry Campbell has made his full debut and has touched it twice picking it out of the back of the net. At that point it was too safe from us for our liking a bit like a pre-season or Academy game but the second half was better. We had enough situations again but the ball didn't quite drop for us.

"Some players got some much needed minutes under their belt tonight which was important. Jake Flannigan - that's the first time he's played for nearly four years. Will Miller that's the first time for nine months. Jake Hesketh it's his first competitive start for a couple of years and Devante Cole for a couple of months. Four out of the starting line-up needed game time and it looked rusty at times as a result.

"But I was pleased with the performance and the potential out there.

"Players need time on the pitch and patience when they have missed pre-season. 

"They had two major attacks in the first half and scored two goals because they went with purpose. We just needed a bit more intent. When players are coming back from injury they often play a little bit safe. They don't want to take any risks but we don't mind them doing that in the right way as you have to to win matches."

The Checkatrade Trophy games are generally played in front of smaller crowds but Clough says that players have to cope with that.

"Being a professional footballer you aren't always going to play in front of brilliant atmospheres, and full stadiums, especially if you are playing for Burton Albion. You have to raise it yourself and have your own personal standards to do the best you possibly can and generally we did that tonight. 

"Next time we are here it will be Sunderland and that will be different. But I thought we played well tonight at times we just needed that extra little bit to get the result.

"But the Checkatrade Trophy was everything we wanted it to be tonight and there was a lot of good young players out there for League One."


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