WITH the Brewers beginning their League One campaign at home to Ipswich Town, Jake Buxton stresses that a good start will be essential when challenging for a high finish in the table.
After a considerably stronger pre-season than the previous summer, including impressive wins against Chesterfield and Sheffield United, the Burton club captain was optimistic about his side’s chances.
“Well, we’re in a better position than we were last summer. We’ve got no hangover affect of relegation. We finished the season strong.
"You can tell in training that the boys are knocking the ball around with some purpose, so we’ve got a good opportunity this year. We’ve just got to make sure we have a good start and everybody stays positive and gives what we’ve got.”
The experienced centre back discussed the Brewers' upcoming opponents, noting their key threats and strength in depth.
“Yeah, we know how tough it was last year with the hangover of relegation. [Ipswich] were in that predicament for a large period of last season, they knew they were going to get relegated so they might be able to adapt a little bit quicker to League One than we did.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us. Norwood up front. We know he’s a handful, who’s come from Tranmere, with plenty of experience in the Championship. There’s experience throughout the side.
“Skuse in the middle of the park is a good player, who you’d expect will adapt to League One quite easily. We know our first five fixtures are tough, but, if we want to pitch ourselves at the right end of the table, then we’ve got to pick up the points required to do so.”
The 34-year-old also noted the increased calibre of opposition in the division vying for promotion to the Championship this season.
“Sunderland and Portsmouth didn’t get promoted and you’ll be expecting them to be in and around it. I think the Championship’s weaker this year, but League One’s stronger, so it’s going to be tough.
“It’s a big ask for us to get to where we want to be but if we are pushing at the right end of the table and we have a good start.
“The start killed us last year. You saw the performances we had from October onwards and the results we picked up, but to only get 11/12 points from 10/11 games, it wasn’t good enough, so it’s crucial our start is very good this year.”