MIDFIELDER Joe Powell says working on the defensive side of his central midfield game will benefit him and Burton Albion going forward following his first eight games for the Brewers.
Powell arrived from West Ham United in the January transfer window, signing a two-and-a-half year deal at the Pirelli Stadium and making his Brewers debut as a substitute in our 1-1 draw at home to Accrington Stanley.
The 21-year-old’s first start and goal followed in our very next match, a 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon, with Powell finishing well from 18 yards at Kingsmeadow to give Nigel Clough’s side an early lead.
Powell has started four of our six games since that draw as he adapts his game and style to full-time senior football.
The young midfielder says the support of the club’s staff and manager Nigel Clough has helped him settle in both at the Pirelli Stadium, and into the centre of midfield, since his arrival.
“I’m really enjoying it, that’s the most important thing,” said Powell.
“I’ve got the backing of the boys and the staff as well, and if you have that you can go a long way.
“I’m still keeping up with the fitness at the minute and once I’ve got that in the bag, hopefully I can start bombing on down the pitch, more box-to-box, and get more goals and assists for the team.
“The more I get to play some games and get to grips with (the position), that is something I can help add. At the minute it’s just my first nibble of League One football so the more and more I play, the better I’ll get.
“It’s key that first of all defensively you’re doing your job. You can’t just be a roamer, watching things go over your head and down the side of you.
“That’s something I’ve tried to put into my game a little bit more than the attacking side, because once I get to grips with that I’ll start flying up and down the pitch.”
Powell has already recognised the difference in intensity between League One and U23s football, particularly for a central midfielder.
“That is a lot different,” Powell said. “In the U23s, people give me the ball and it’s almost a thing of respect - people don’t want to smash you, whereas here it’s like ‘I don’t care who you are, you’re going into row Z!’
“Probably the time and space you get on the ball is the biggest difference, because before I could turn on the ball in space and drive at people, but the more I get to grips with the game I’ll start to realise my space and I’ll improve, 100%.”