BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett would like to match last season’s points total of 76 – but says it is not top of his list of priorities.
The Brewers finished fourth and qualified for the play-offs in 2012/13.
Along the way they recorded their best ever points total in League football.
Today, Albion host Hartlepool, kick-off 3pm, sat on 68 points with four matches left.
Three points could guarantee their place in the play-offs and add a bit of pressure on third-placed Chesterfield.
These are Rowett’s priorities, and beating last season’s total is at the bottom of the list.
“I don’t think the season is going to be judged by beating last season’s mark,” said the Brewers boss.
“Last season we were 12 points or 14 points better than we’d ever got in the Football League.
“It was a really good achievement.
“For differing reasons, we had to change the squad this season.
“It kept us moving forward in having a good season.”
Rowett wants to build sustainable success and not just be a flash in the pan,
“Again, I think the fact we’re only six points off third with four left, with a chance of filling a play-off place, is a good achievement,” he said.
“We want to try to build something sustainable over five or 10 years – not just a year of good form.
“A good team keeps doing it and a good club and staff keep challenging.”
A win today will take Albion to 71 points and Hartlepool arrive on the back of a five-game losing streak.
But the Monkey Hangers will be determined to get something to avoid being dragged into the relegation scrap.
“They’ve had quite an extreme season,” said Rowett. “They didn’t win for eight or nine but pulled it around until they were on the brink of the play-offs.
“The energy and hard work which got them to that position seems to have taken its toll in the last few games.
“What we’ve got to do is impose our game plan on them and do at home what we’ve done so effectively at home since that early period of losses and sendings off.
“Since then we’ve been better at home and have got to maintain that.”
Chesterfield host Exeter tomorrow, while Fleetwood, in fourth, visit Cheltenham.
Wins for their rivals would make Albion’s already distant dream of automatic promotion recede further.
But should they slip up, a Brewers win would open the table up once more.
Rob Lainton (finger) and Damien McCrory (knee) are missing today, but Gary Alexander (ankle) will be fit enough to start.
Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper reckons it will be tough for his side to take anything away from the Pirelli Stadium today.
Cooper was at last month’s clash between League Two leaders Scunthorpe United and the Brewers, and was impressed with Rowett’s side.
He said: “They are very organised, well structured – they try to play good football and they have some creative players like Billy Key and Jimmy Phillips.
“They were two teams which gave little away and it never looked like they were going to give anything away
“On the day it was a really nice goal from Paddy Madden which separated the sides.
“Burton were the best football team on the day – but Scunthorpe won.”
Cooper is now looking forward to pitting his wits against Rowett.
He said: I’ve known Gary a while and you can see he’s putting his stamp on things at Burton
“I know we can compete with anyone in the league, but whether we can beat them? That’s the task we’ve got on Saturday
“They’ll be hoping we come and roll over and they get the points.
“If we can compete and we can give them a good game you never know.
“But it will be hard. Their record shows they are very good at defending their 18-yard box.”