GARY Rowett has told his Burton Albion braves to keep their heads as the League Two season enters its final 10 games.
The Brewers face Cheltenham Town at the Pirelli Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, looking for a win to stay in contention for automatic promotion.
Albion disappointingly lost 3-0 at Bristol Rovers last week to suffer a first defeat in eight games.
And Rowett will be telling his men to keep calm and forget about it as the season heads towards its business end.
“The key message is to keep your heads,” the Albion boss said. “One defeat is nothing to worry about.
“It should focus us and that can only be a good thing.
“We’ve got to keep enjoying ourselves and what we’re doing.
“We just have to focus on every game.
“If that gets us to third or seventh or ninth, that’s what it is – we’re just trying to be the best we can be.
“With that attitude, results will come in the last 10 games.”
Skipper Zander Diamond could return at centre-half tomorrow – but Rowett is keeping his cards close to his chest.
“You could argue that Zander has been our player of the season so far, so there is a temptation to put him back in,” he said.
“But I can’t say that anyone in the back four was poor at Bristol Rovers.
“I thought the two centre-halves were pretty good, so if I choose to play him (Diamond), it won’t be due to somebody else’s poor performance, just a decision to put the captain back in.”
The Brewers boss is focusing on the variables he can change and is ignoring the things which he cannot influence.
“The key thing for me is you have to focus on the things you can control,” he said.
“You can’t control another team’s results and if they win their last 10 games, fair play to them, they deserve it and there’s nothing we can do about that.
“We can be as prepared as we can to consistently do the things we’ve done.
“I can’t remember a point where we’ve been miles off form for five games in a row.
“It’s not been like that at all.”
Albion have just one injury worry ahead of tomorrow’s clash – with Calvin Zola aggravating his hip during a brief substitute appearance at Bristol City last week.
However, Robbie Weir (knock) and Jacques Maghoma (ankle) are fully fit, while Damien McCrory could play with a protective cast on a hand injury he picked up last week.
“Calvin’s still managing his hip,” said Rowett. “It makes him a doubt for the game.
“Damien’s damaged his hand. He did it last week in the game and thought nothing of it until it swelled up afterwards.
“It looks like he’s cracked a knuckle and he might wear some sort of protection against Cheltenham.”
Nathan Stanton (knee) and Aaron Webster (hamstring) are both definitely out of the match.