GARY Rowett has told his Burton Albion players to relax and enjoy tonight’s FA Cup trip to Bournemouth.
The winner of the rearranged tie, kick-off 7.45pm, will face giants Liverpool at home in the fourth round.
And the Brewers boss says the key to performing well against the Championship side will be avoiding tension at Dean Court.
“It’s about embracing the game,” said the Albion chief. “If a League Two club goes to a Championship side and are tense, we’re not going to put a type of performance in to give them a problem.
“We’ve got to relax.
“We need to see if one or two can lift their game against a big side.
“In the last round against Fleetwood at home we told them it’s not about three points, it’s not about the pressure of the league.
“The lads just need to enjoy it – that’s the sort of message we’ll send out before the Bournemouth game.”
Rowett knows it will be a different type of game to Saturday’s home clash with Cheltenham which Albion won 2-1 to stay second in the table.
He could make changes to come up with a competitive recipe and repeat the successes against higher opposition of recent seasons.
“It will be a different sort of game,” said the manager.
“I think we’re probably going in with a slightly more specific game plan.
“We’ll need to play one or two in different positions to counteract what Bournemouth do.
“There are one or two things that we’ll have to do to match a very good side.
“They’ll have a little bit better athleticism and movement.
“We’ll have to put in a performance like we did away to Sheffield United twice, like we did at Crewe and against Fulham at home this season.”
As for Liverpool waiting in the fourth round, Rowett says it will have little bearing on tonight’s game, which for both sides would be a welcome pay day, as well as a shot at Cup glory.
“I don’t think the Liverpool draw will make any difference to either team,” he said.
“Will Bournemouth want to win any more because of Liverpool waiting in the next round? No, I don’t think so. Nor will we.
“Over the last 10 games we couldn’t have wanted to win any more than we have done.
“It’s a lovely scenario for whoever can get through.
“But I don’t think the Liverpool tie will play on the minds of any of the players.”
Dominic Knowles netted both goals as the Brewers came back from 1-0 down against Cheltenham to take the points, finishing crosses from exciting debutant Zeli Ismail, who is cup tied tonight.
Knowles, 21, opened his account with perfect timing after Rene Howe’s departure, but has not necessarily earned himself a start after his heroics.
“All the players have worked very hard,” said Rowett. “Knowlesy was in the right place at the right time and really deserved his goals.
“Scoring isn’t necessarily going to send him to the top of the list ahead of other people and send them to the bottom of the list.
“I don’t think one performance is going to make him an automatic selection.
“But at the same time he’s done fantastically.
“We know he’s a good player and it’s nice to see hard work rewarded.”
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (broken cheekbone) and Michael Symes (knee) are the only injury absentees for Albion tonight.