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ACADEMY REACTION: SHAUN BARKER REACTS TO GRIMSBY VICTORY

14 March 2024

Club News

ACADEMY REACTION: SHAUN BARKER REACTS TO GRIMSBY VICTORY

14 March 2024

BURTON Albion’s PDP Player Performance Coach Shaun Barker was delighted with his side’s performance in their 1-0 win over Grimsby Town.

Dylan Scott’s 56th minute volley was enough to secure the points for the Young Brewers, with Barker reflecting on what he felt was a very well-rounded showing.

He said: “I thought we were excellent for long spells. For probably 60 minutes or so we had a lot of control of the ball, we built through the pitch really well and played some tidy football against a good side.

“We’ve had some really tough tests against Grimsby in the past so to have that much control for large spells was really pleasing.

“We got a brilliant goal which Dylan Scott finished off after a good team move and from that point, we just lost a little bit of control and had to dig in and defend."

Burton came under pressure late on with the visitors pushing for an equaliser, but Barker was impressed with the desire his side showed to keep a clean sheet.

“It was really pleasing to see both sides of our game today. In possession there was some really good stuff and out of possession we defended our box well, made recovery runs and won duels, all the things that you need to win games of football.

“It should mean so much to them, whether that’s the frontline or the backline, they should all feel part of keeping clean sheets.

“You saw the reaction of the lads at the end, it meant a huge amount to them.”

After being forced into playing a back four at times in recent weeks, Burton returned to their usual back three, something Barker felt had a big impact on the game.

He said: “Our wing-backs today Charlie Knowles and Che Ranger were both attacking wide players and that’s how we want them to play.

“You have to have some sort of control in the midfield area and I thought Connor Pace and Spencer Cook were outstanding in midfield, landing on second balls, playing the simple pass and always supporting, which allows those wing-backs to go high and wide.

“For 60 minutes of the game that’s what we were able to do. The last 20 or 30 the wing-backs had to drop and that’s the beauty and fluidity of the back three or back five.”

Injuries and illness have stretched the squad in recent weeks and Charlie Knowles was forced to drop into the back three for the final 20 minutes, a role Barker thought he adapted to well.

“We knew Cam Gilbert might not manage the full 90 minutes and Cam’s such an important player for us. He’s got an understanding of how to play the ball, he can recover well and his positioning is great defensively.

“That just meant that when he came off, Charlie was probably the most natural to go into the back three and I thought he did really well.

“Getting players to understand different positions as well as roles and responsibilities in those positions is key for their development.”

With the season nearing it’s close, Barker was keen to emphasise his side’s aims, saying: “We talk about development all the time, we’re trying to get players out on loan and over the line to get professional contracts.

“That’s our ultimate aim, but with that, we still want a team that goes out there and puts in performances and gets results.

“That’s another standard today where we know that even if we’re not fully fit and with a full squad, we’ve got the ability and the players to win games of football.

“Especially against a really tough opposition in Grimsby who we have nothing but respect for.”

 


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