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Burton Albion must start winning their home games to win automatic promotion: boss Gary Rowett

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 28, 2014

Torquay United v Burton Albion, Plainmoor, Torquay, Devon.
Gary Rowett

Torquay United v Burton Albion, Plainmoor, Torquay, Devon. Gary Rowett

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GARY Rowett says tomorrow’s home clash with Accrington is something of a must-win game for Burton Albion if they want to finish in the League Two top three.

The Brewers boss needs his side to string several wins together to lift themselves back into contention for automatic promotion.

And he would love that run to start at the Pirelli Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.

“In the context of wanting to win automatic promotion, you’ve got to win your home games,” said the Albion boss. “If we want to be in the top three we need to win games like Saturday.

“But it’s just one of 13 games left, so if we don’t win and then win the next 12, we’d be right up there.”

Accrington arrive at the Pirelli a much-improved outfit from the one which took on the Brewers in Lancashire at the end of August, with Albion winning 1-0 on the day.

They have won three of their last six away matches and are five points clear of the drop zone.

“They’ve been one of the form sides over the last 10 games,” said Rowett. “They’ve been going really well under (manager) James (Beattie) and it’ll be a tough game.

“We’ve found out this season it makes no difference where teams are in the table, there are no easy games.”

Burton are likely to return to a 4-4-2 formation tomorrow after an experiment with 5-2-3 at Torquay on Tuesday night.

Following the 1-1 draw in Devon, Rowett said it was unlikely Albion would go back to a formation with wing-backs - but on reflection there were elements which pleased him at Plainmoor.

“I feel it worked quite well in places,” he said. “There was a move of 10 passes for the goal and Damo (McCrory) got in a position he hasn’t been in this season to finish it.

“There are lots of merits to the formation - I just felt we didn’t get enough passes forward.

“Whether that was the quality of the passes and movement or the formation, I don’t know.

“The lads aren’t going to master a new system in one game - it’s something different.

“A system is only as good as the players’ performance in it.”

Albion have a fully fit squad to choose from tomorrow, with the exception of Michael Symes, who is building match fitness.

Should the Brewers return to a system with two strikers, Adam McGurk, Billy Kee, Gary Alexander and Dominic Knowles will be battling for two spots.

“It’s something we’re considering,” said the manager. “Billy and Dominic have staked a claim with the half-hour they gave us at Torquay.”

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