GARY Rowett admits that striker Gary Alexander will have to be nursed through training at Burton Albion but thinks the veteran can play an important role in the run-in.
The 34-year-old target man returned against Wycombe a week ago after missing three weeks through injury.
He also came on towards the end of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at York and helped see the Brewers to a valuable point.
Rowett knows how invaluable his January signing can be at the business end of the League Two season.
“He’s a good player and he’s played at a very good level,” said the manager.
“Anyone who wants to see what a good player he is should Google “Gary Alexander’s Wembley got for Millwall” and they’ll see exactly what he can do.”
As well as being able to hit spectacular goals like the one in the play-off final for the Lions, Alexander – a product of West Ham United’s famed youth scheme – is the kind of player who does the spade work.
Rowett likes the way he goes about the less noticeable elements of the game which are just as important as goals and assists.
“He’s got a lot of experience and what I like about him is he comes on and he organises other people,” he said.
“Sometimes, fans and other people don’t see the value of that.
“But it’s important.
“I put him on at York because I felt I needed an extra body.
“As the game went on it looked increasingly like the only way they would score was a set piece.
“I felt I needed some extra size in there so I took the gamble of taking Billy (Kee) off, which I wouldn’t normally have done.
“We actually still created chances too.”
Alexander has played more than 600 games in all competitions for the likes of Millwall, Leyton Orient, Brenford and Hull - and needs to be looked after away from the pitch.
But Rowett is confident with the right handling his striker can continue to have an impact in the remaining weeks of the season.
“We’re going to have to manage him in terms of his workload in the week,” said Rowett. “He’s got a knee that’s just inflamed due to an incident a few weeks ago.
“He’s had an injection and we’re hoping it’ll settle down.”
BURTON Albion’s official supporters’ club is running coaches to the Northampton game on April 12.
They depart the Pirelli Stadium at 12.15pm and will return at around 7pm. Tickets for the trip cost £10.