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Burton Albion gunning for Championship outfit Wigan Athletic in League Cup

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 12, 2014

By Tom Sloan

FLASHBACK ... Robbie Weir in action for the Brewers against Fulham in the Capital One League Cup  last season.

FLASHBACK ... Robbie Weir in action for the Brewers against Fulham in the Capital One League Cup last season.

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BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett will attempt to strike a balance between attack and defence at the Pirelli Stadium tonight.

The Brewers face Wigan Athletic in the first round of the Capital One League Cup, kick-off 7.45pm, hoping for some more magic in the competition.

Last year Albion took Premier League Fulham to a penalty shoot-out, while in 2012 Championship big boys Leicester City were shocked in a 4-2 victory at King Power Stadium.

"We've done it a couple of times in the last few years," said Rowett. "We've shown we can match a lot of these better teams and create chances."

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The balance, though, is to still have a threat in the final third of the pitch without being caught out at the other end.

It is something the Brewers managed in their 0-0 friendly draw with Stoke City and 1-0 home defeat to Derby.

But Rowett is aware of the pitfalls of going all-out for victory.

"If we come out early on and really push forward to upset a bigger team, once you leave space, nine out of 10 times they will kill you," he said.

"But it's very easy to sit in and not create chances, and have no ambition.

"We still want to attack and perhaps forego a little bit of defensive solidity to create chances.

"We can do it and we've done it before, but out of all the teams we could've played I would imagine they are No 1 seeds in this round.

"We'll go about it and see if we can create some chances."

Off the field, Rowett knows how important the League Cup can be – both for prestige and revenue.

The season before last, Bradford earned a fortune reaching the final at Wembley, and also grabbed the scalps of Arsenal, Villa and Wigan along the way.

It really put the Bantams back on the map after a spell in the doldrums and brought back memories of their time in the Premier League.

"There are two different ways of looking at it," said Rowett. "This game isn't the league, and that's our priority.

"But sometimes, for a club like ours, getting through and getting some extra games in a cup competition can raise your profile and generate some money to build a better squad – it helps us get better all-round.

"We've got to be as strong as we can be, although it's tempting to leave one or two key players out.

"It's a big game and we'll give it our best shot.

"I think we're strong enough to maybe change one or two and give one or two opportunities.

"But sometimes you'd like to give four or five those opportunities."

Billy Kee and Adam McGurk were on the bench at Oxford for the season-opening 1-0 win on Saturday and both could get a chance to impress tonight, as could promising midfielder Matty Palmer.

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