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Burton Albion prepare to “throw the kitchen sink” at Bradford in League Two play-offs

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 01, 2013

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GARY Rowett wants his Burton Albion side to go and give Bradford City a real battle in tomorrow’s play-off semi-final first leg.

“We’ve got nothing to lose so we can go and effectively throw the kitchen sink at Bradford,” said the Brewers boss.

“Whether that works is a different matter!”

Rowett wants a positive approach from Albion in their third trip of the season to Valley Parade for the League Two showdown – and says going to play for a draw or a narrow defeat is a path fraught with danger.

“If you go there with the mindset that losing 1-0 will be a good result, that’s very, very dangerous,” he said. “I don’t think you can do that.

“We’ve got to be as positive as we can be and try to win the game.

“If we don’t win, we have to make sure we don’t give as many opportunities as Bradford would like.

“We’ll give them lots of respect and see what happens.”

Burton lost 3-2 at Bradford in the League Cup third round in September, with the Bantams going on to the final and beating Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic along the way.

But Albion were just seven minutes from beating them 2-0 before two late goals and an extra-time winner for the Yorkshire side.

More recently, the Brewers lost 1-0 away to Bradford in their penultimate match of the season.

Rowett knows what his side needs to do to win – but doing it is another thing entirely.

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“Bradford are an excellent side and very consistent in their approach,” he said.

“The things we tried to stop in the cup game and the league game here at the Pirelli, they’ll be the same things we tried to stop in the league game two weeks ago and the same things we’ll try to stop tomorrow.

“The key to Bradford, though, is actually stopping it. You’ve got a good idea of what they’re going to do, but it’s stopping it.”

One option Albion are looking at is using three centre-halves tomorrow, kick-off 7.45pm - but Rowett is very wary after being part of a Birmingham City side which switched formation in a play-off campaign and got stuffed out of sight.

Skipper Zander Diamond, who was superb in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Gillingham, could retain his place, with Ian Sharps returning to make a back three with Marcus Holness.

“You’ve got to have some size in there and have got to make sure you’ve got your best players in the team for games like this,” said Rowett.

“If you saw Zander on Saturday, he was excellent again and it’s hard to keep him out of the side.

“It’s something we’ve looked at and it’s something we might do.

“Northampton did it - and did it to quite good effect.

“We’ve gone there 4-4-2, we’ve gone there and tinkered with personnel and the outcome has been similar.

“So, we’ve just got to look at what we do and not who’s doing it.”

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