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HASSELBAINK'S SQUAD BOOSTED BY KEY PLAYERS RETURNING

4 August 2022

BURTON Albion will be boosted by the potential return of Sam Hughes from injury and Calum Butcher from suspension as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink prepares for the first home game of the season.

The Brewers take on Bristol Rovers on Saturday with a 3pm kick off at the Pirelli Stadium looking to put the opening day defeat at Wycombe behind us.

The manager said: “Sam has trained today, and he is available. At the centre back position we are a little bit bare. Because of the way Wycombe play, we would have certainly needed Sam in the team.

“Michael Mancienne is also a long-term injury and he can play centre half so we are glad Sam is back. We will assess him again tomorrow and see if he can play. It looks positive and he wants to play so fingers crossed that he stays fit and has no reaction.”

Hasselbaink said his squad know that he was “angry” and “disappointed” after the 3-0 defeat at Wycombe, but he has faith in his players.

“Saturday after the Wycombe game and Sunday was tough but obviously you need to find solutions and a way forward. Monday was a good debrief and we were able to be honest with each other and move on. We are not forgetting it but using it to get better.

“As painful as it is, you have to face things and accept responsibility. We need to make sure it’s a one off. We need to let it go now and on Saturday perform.”

Bristol Rovers were promoted from League Two on the last day of the 2021-22 season but lost on the opening day of the 2022-23 campaign at home to Forest Green Rovers so will also be looking to bounce back.

“It will be a totally different game to Wycombe,” said Hasselbaink. “It will bring different challenges as they play a different way. But we still need to do the fundamentals better than we did last Saturday and those fundamentals don’t change.

“But we are concentrating on us this week. What we are about, what we are going to do. What are the expectations, all those things. It’s all about us on Saturday.”


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