WE HAVE a tough game against a good Southend United team tomorrow.
We want to win the game. The higher up the table we finish the better – for obvious reasons.
Southend have had a great run into the play-offs after not starting too well.
They are going to be organised and hard to play against – but they’ll be worrying just as much about us.
We could play them again this season in an even bigger game, but you can’t look that far ahead.
Whoever we play in the play-offs we’ll have to do the business.
Our approach will remain the same for this match.
You have more chance of sustaining an injury or being involved in an accident if you approach the game looking to avoid those sorts of things.
That’s something that isn’t in our minds. You always have to prepare in the correct way.
There remains an expectancy within the squad.
We expected to be up towards the top end and challenging and we are.
The mentality of the players is good – they are a bunch of winners.
Nothing has changed from that point of view. We do know what’s needed a bit more this year.
Perhaps no-one expected us to make the play-offs apart from ourselves.
If you’d asked Burton Albion fans if they’d take getting to the play-offs twice in as many seasons, they’d probably have snatched your hands off.
Hopefully we’ll have a few players back when the play-offs come around.
Zeli Ismail is back. He was really beginning to shine just before he suffered his injury.
He looks bright and sharp and is doing well in training.
But there’s bit of competition in the wide areas. We’ve some real talent out wide.
Whoever plays will have to put a shift in.
It is not about individuals. It is all about playing and winning as a group and as a squad.
We’ve played everyone in the league before, but things are different now.
There’s a lot more at stake for everyone involved. It’s about who can handle the situation best.
It’s great for the area that Derby have also made the play-offs.
They have done terrifically well.
I think Nigel Clough has to take a lot of credit for how well the side’s done.
Steve McClaren has then come in and taken them up that extra level.