BURTON Albion star Adam McGurk is a major doubt for tonight’s visit to Rochdale after picking up a knee injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Dagenham.
The 25-year-old striker came off just short of the hour after playing through the pain barrier for almost 40 minutes.
He is touch and go for tonight’s visit to Spotland, kick-off 7.45pm.
“Adam picked up a knee injury after about 20 minutes of the first half,” said Brewers boss Gary Rowett last night. “That was the reason he came off, nothing to do with his performance.”
As well as McGurk, Chris Hussey (hamstring) is doubtful and Michael Symes (knee) will not be risked, although he returned to full training yesterday.
The visit to Rochdale, whom Albion beat 1-0 at the Pirelli Stadium in August, will be a stern test for Burton.
They have the best home record in League Two, with 11 home wins, while the Brewers have one of the best records on the road, with wins at promotion rivals Chesterfield and Fleetwood.
Dale are also known as being League Two’s great entertainers, with Keith Hill encouraging a free-flowing style of football.
“It should be a good game,” said Rowett. “The way they play they’re very open and play an entertaining game.
“In some ways they’ve been like we were last season, scoring a lot of outstanding goals.
“Both teams will go for it. We’ve always tried to be as positive as we can be.
“Away from home people didn’t expect us to get anything at Chesterfield, but we won 2-0.
“We’ll always be very respectful of a Keith Hill side.
“They’ve been as good as any we’ve faced this season and they’re a young side too.”
Rochdale possess League Two’s second top goalscorer in Scott Hogan, and also have the talented George Donnelly and battle-hardened Ian Henderson who are goal threats.
“Scott Hogan’s a good player,” said Rowett. “But they’ve got lots of players in there that play with that same sort of exuberance and movement.
“There’s lots of ability in all areas and they try to play freely.”
Albion will try to answer Rochdale’s approach with another committed, determined away performance - something they have made a trademark this season.
“I can’t think of too many away performances we haven’t been committed,” said Rowett. “I think sometimes away from home it’s suited us because there’s a bit more space.
“Big pitches with space suits us.
“The key will be doing certain things to counter what Rochdale do, things which are there to be seen.
“We’ll have to do that (before anything else).”