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Gary Rowett: Ilkeston test will prove useful for Burton Albion

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 17, 2014

FULL STRETCH ...Burton Albion's Ian Sharps goes into a tackle in the pre-season friendly against Ilkeston

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GARY Rowett believes that the alternative perspective offered by Ilkeston on Tuesday night will prove useful for his Burton Albion side.

After taking a third-minute lead from the penalty spot, the Robins largely sat back at the New Manor Ground, and eventually saw out a 1-0 win.

The Brewers enjoyed plenty of possession, and though they were unable to break down Kevin Wilson's side, Rowett says that experience may come in handy.

"We've been here the last two pre-seasons and I think we've lost both games," said Rowett.

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"So that shows you that Ilkeston are very good in pre-season. You're looking for things to work on, and things you do well.

"Apart from the goal, there were lots of good bits.

"We've had lots of good chances and their keeper has made a few good saves."

Tuesday night was Ilkeston's third game of pre-season, having restricted Derby County to a 0-0 draw in their first game and held Nottingham Forest at arm's length for much of Saturday's clash, before conceding four times in the final 13 minutes.

So not only were the Robins largely match-fit, but they had shown themselves capable of stepping up.

"It sounds daft, but we came up against a system we wouldn't normally come up against and they caused us one or two problems in the first half," said Rowett.

"We've had quite a lot of the ball for the majority of the game, which is probably something we didn't last season.

"They got back in numbers, made themselves difficult to play against, and that might be something we come up against in the season.

"That could be good for us.

"Kev (Wilson) has got some good players here, and a lot of pace in those forward areas.

"It was a good workout for us, with 45 minutes for each player. The main thing is that they get through unscathed, and get those minutes under their belts."

Jordan Smith, Ilkeston's second-half keeper, was tested more than his first-half counterpart, ex-Brewer Ross Atkins, with Thomas Verheydt, Alex MacDonald and Dominic Knowles all coming close to an equaliser.

"In the second half, I thought we were a little bit brighter, and played with a little bit more tempo than we did first half," said Rowett.

"But that's often the case in these pre-season friendlies.

"There are lots of things to be pleased about. It's not the case that if you don't come here and win three or four-nil then there's something wrong with your team.

"We've been back ten days and we're working on one or two different things."

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