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Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett rules out a return to three centre-halves

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

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GARY Rowett is unlikely to try playing three central defenders again for Burton Albion this season.

The Brewers boss tinkered with his line-up for Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at struggling Torquay.

To freshen his side up, he played Phil Edwards, Ian Sharps and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff in a central three, with David Gray and Damien McCrory operating as wing-backs.

He had hoped to jolt his players into a better performance – but they could only get a draw from a frustrating match.

“What we’ve learned it we’re better at 4-4-2,” said Rowett afterwards.

“If that’s the one positive to come from the evening – I’ve said to the players in the dressing room we gave them licence to pass it, we didn’t do that particularly well, so we’d better make sure we’re very, very good at 4-4-2 now!

“We don’t want to do it half-heartedly, which I feel we have done occasionally.

“But that’s what we tried to do and I thought Damo (McCrory) coming back into the team was a huge plus, with his goal as well – fantastic.”

Rowett changed his line-up to try and improve results, but says Albion, sat fifth in League Two, are still in an excellent position to strike for the top three.

“We just tinkered with it because our results haven’t been as good as we’d have liked over the last eight games,” he said.

“We’ve not won enough and have only won two in nine.

“We’ve not lost many, so again we might be a bit greedy, but at the moment we’re looking up into that top three and seeing if we can catch those people, rather than worrying about getting points on the board to avoid dropping out of the play-offs.

“I still think we’re in a great position and I still think we can be really positive.

“We’ve got a home game against Accrington and we’ve got to go and win that game.”

Rowett admitted the trip to Torquay on Tuesday had an effect on his players – especially after journeys to Rochdale and Bristol in the preceding seven days.

But the manager was still disappointed Albion did not manage to hold their lead at Plainmoor after a rare McCrory goal gave them the advantage.

“To travel four-and-a-half hours to a game on the day and to ask the players to play how you want them to play is never easy,” said Rowett. “Especially after a few other away trips.

“I felt we needed to do something different - we needed to freshen the lads up mentally and try to pass the ball a bit more.

“We did it in spells first half, probably not enough, but having got the goal I felt that was it almost, the way we play recently.

“To concede the goal when we did was sloppy and disappointing.”

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