MANAGER Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink wants Burton Albion to keep their foot on the gas and to approach the final three games of the season in the right way - but it looks like they will have to do so without defender Michael Bostwick.
The Brewers secured mathematical safety from relegation last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic ensuring Rochdale and Northampton Town, along with Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers, cannot catch them.
Now Albion go into their three final games of the season - starting with back-to-back home games against Fleetwood Town tomorrow night (7pm kick-off) and Gillingham at the weekend (3pm) looking to end the season positively.
Bostwick was forced off injured in that draw at the DW Stadium during the second half, suffering a calf injury while going up for an aerial challenge.
“We think he has pulled a muscle in his calf,” said Hasselbaink.
“We do think it's bad and a big pull, and his season is finished unfortunately.
“They're going to have a scan (on Monday) but I think he is done for the season.
“Obviously he is the leader at the back, together with Bray (John Brayford). He’s playing together with a young boy in Hayden Carter, who has come in from Blackburn and done extremely well, but (Bozzy) is one who organises everything and he’s been immense for us.
“He’s been a rock, and I must say Bray has as well. They’ve both been really solid performers and if he (Bostwick) is going to be out, we’re definitely going to miss him.
“That’s why we had to put Bray in the middle (at Wigan), to have that leadership and Michael Bostwick will be missed for the next three games.”
And while safety in League One has secured, Hasselbaink is keen for his squad to continue impressing and work just as hard in the final three games of the season.
“It is important for the people at the club (to avoid relegation) and the fans who could not be with us day-in, day-out,” said Hasselbaink.
“We still have League One status and hopefully next season if the fans can come back, they will be proud of us, shout very hard and we can kick on from this position.
“Now we can concentrate and finish the season in the right way, play these games in the right way, then we can look at next season and start to plan.
“But we are not there yet. We still have three games. We take each game as it comes and we still want to perform in these next three matches.
“We want to keep our foot on the gas, be solid, play our football in the same way, give 100% in every game and be true to ourselves. And hopefully we can get some more points on the board.”
Michael Mancienne missed the Wigan game through injury but Hasselbaink said last week he was hopeful of having the experienced midfielder available for Fleetwood. Winger Jonny Smith returned to the squad last weekend after missing a few weeks of action with a hamstring problem.