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Brewers bring in deadline day duo

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

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GARY Rowett reckons striker Michael Symes and winger Alex MacDonald will bring added steel to his promotion-chasing Burton Albion side.

The Brewers boss pulled off another transfer coup last night by landing target-man Symes on loan for the rest of the season from League One Leyton Orient.

The 6ft 3in 29-year-old was joined at the Pirelli Stadium by pacy 22-year-old Burnley wide-man or forward MacDonald, who has arrived on a month-long loan from the Championship club.

“They’re both very good signings for us,” Rowett told Mailsport. “I’m really pleased to have got them both.”

The duo follow defensive lynchpin Ian Sharps into the Pirelli as Rowett completes his squad for the League Two run-in ­— and the Albion boss thinks the latest arrivals can make a real impact.

“They aren’t transient loan signings, they’ve bought into what we’re about,” he said. “What it does is out a message that we’re always going to try to improve and strengthen our squad and be proactive in that.

“There are 17 games left and what we’re trying to do is keep things fresh.”

The arrival of Symes does not mean that Calvin Zola, linked with a move away from the Pirelli, is going to go anywhere.

Rowett is confident his new signing can partner any of the current strikeforce ­— and the thought of him linking up with former Accrington team-mate Billy Kee is a mouth-watering prospect for Albion fans.

“Michael’s been signed to add competition to what we’ve got,” said the Brewers boss. “He’s played with Billy at Accrington, so I know the pair of them can go together.

“I think he can play with Matt Paterson and I think he can play with Calvin.

“Really, what I’ve done is bring someone in so if Calvin is unavailable he can play that target-man role.

“He can give us a slightly different option as well — I’ve always wanted to bring in a fourth striker (and we’ve got him).”

MacDonald gives Rowett another option wide on the right, a position which has been troublesome at times this season.

“He did well at Plymouth and they wanted him permanently,” said the Albion manager. “He will add competition for places down the right and can also play down the left.

“We’ve had poor impact off the bench at times this season and he’ll help that.

“He’s quick, powerful and has got really good quality as well.”

Like Sharps, both Symes and MacDonald are playing for their futures.

If either of them impresses enough, they can play their way to a permanent deal at the Pirelli.

“I’ve said to both of them that it’s an opportunity to come here and impress and make it permanent some way down the line,” said Rowett.

“I think both of them have got a real desire to get their careers back on track and that’s important.”

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