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Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett says form unimportant for his cup specialists in the play-offs

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

Gary Rowett

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GARY Rowett reckons the form book goes out of the window as his Burton Albion side gets ready for the League Two play-offs.

The Brewers finished the season with a 1-0 defeat at Southend on Saturday and will now face Phil Brown’s Essex side for a place in the Wembley final.

Albion go into the play-offs after an indifferent end to the season, with three defeats in their last five games.

But Rowett reckons his cup specialists can get the job done.

He said: “I don’t think momentum is an issue in the play-offs, it’s who copes with the games the best.

“It’s cup football and if you look at us in the last two seasons, in cup games we’ve been very, very good.

“In one-off games we’ve been excellent.

“You look this season, we’ve beaten Chesterfield away from home, we’ve drawn with Rochdale, we’ve beaten Fleetwood away from home, we’ve beaten Sheffield United away from home, we’ve nearly beaten Fulham at home.

“There’s nothing for us to fear whatsoever.

“You can look at Southend and say they’re going to be in better form going into the games, but that means nothing.

“It means there’s probably more pressure on you to continue that form.

“We’re starting again almost and I think we’ll benefit from that.”

The manager admits Albion’s form has been patchy since a play-off place looked assured around a month ago.

But he has used the games since then to try new things, get fringe players time on the pitch to improve their fitness, and prepare for the end-of-season shoot-out.

Rowett said: “I think (our form) had (dipped), but that’s the situation we’re in.

“I had to take a gamble before the Southend game and I felt as though I had to rest Sharpsy (Ian Sharps) and I had to rest Billy (Kee).

“I couldn’t risk Adam McGurk, so there’s three huge players for you who will come into the reckoning next weekend.

“Gary Alexander I left out, again Zeli (Ismail).

“There’s five players who could potentially be in the starting line-up.

“I just felt with the injuries we’ve got, we couldn’t take one or two more - I couldn’t take that risk.

“That’s affected the last two performances to a certain degree.

“But we’ve played against two good sides.

“Chesterfield were as good as any side to come to the Pirelli, and, again, two moments have cost us the game.

“Against Southend, it was the same - one error has cost us. Apart from that there wasn’t an awful lot in the game.”

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