GARY Rowett is looking for a repeat of Saturday’s determined performance against Barnet to end Burton Albion’s away day blues tonight.
The Brewers travel to take on Oxford United, kick-off 7.45pm, seeking a first win in seven League Two away games.
Their imperious home form has kept them right in the play-off frame, but some points away from the Pirelli Stadium will help Albion to nail down a top-seven place.
“The key away from home is to play a little bit like Saturday,” said Rowett after his side battled to a 1-0 home victory over Barnet.
“We need to be solid and hard to play against.
“As much as we didn’t play well on Saturday, we defended very, very well as a team and ground out the result.
“We’ve done that once or twice away from home and managed to get a result — Plymouth springs to mind.
“We have to make sure we continue to do that.”
The Brewers boss is urging his side to improve away from home and put together an unbeaten run which could prove decisive in the scramble for a play-off spot.
“If we can put some form of run together over 10 games it can be enough to get to where we want to be,” he said.
“At this stage of the season it can prove crucial.”
Standing between the Brewers and a first away victory since the 2-1 win at Plymouth Argyle in November is a determined Oxford side who have only lost one in nine in League Two.
Although only in mid-table, the U’s have lost just three at home this season and were it not for a dire run in September would be right in the play-off frame.
“It’s a difficult place to go,” said Rowett. “It’s one of those places where we haven’t got an awful lot in the last few years.
“We’ve got to go there full of confidence with the way we’ve been getting results at home.
“Away games have become something of a bonus with the way we’re going at home — if we win all our home games for the rest of the season we won’t be far away.
“But the point is we’d like a run and if we keep losing away we can’t get that consistency together.”
Burton thumped Oxford 4-0 at the Pirelli in September in a game remembered for Calvin Zola’s stunning 35-yard volley.
“I think it was (one of the season’s best performances),” said Rowett. “We played as well as we have.
“The game was tight for the first 20 minutes, we scored and then the game opened up and we took our chances.”
The only doubts tonight surround Aaron Webster and Nathan Stanton, both of whom picked up knocks in training yesterday.
However, neither is expected to be ruled out for the trip to the Kassam Stadium.
Meanwhile, Anthony O’Connor has been called up to the Republic of Ireland’s under-21 squad for their clash with the Netherlands a week tomorrow.
Rowett is delighted for the 19-year-old right-back, who is on loan from Blackburn Rovers for the season.
“He’s done brilliantly for us,” said Rowett. “I’m proud of what we as a club have helped him to achieve.
“Blackburn take credit, too, but we’ve been that next stage for him.
“His approach has been very professional since he’s been here.”