GARY Rowett was delighted with the discipline shown by his Burton Albion side as they swept aside League Two leaders Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium.
The Brewers boss came up with a game plan to beat the Spireites and it worked to perfection.
Adam McGurk’s early brace stunned Chesterfield and they never recovered as Albion cruised to the win – the visitors missing chances to make it even more emphatic.
“We were absolutely fantastic and could have won it by three or four,” said Rowett.
“That might have flattered us slightly but we had some terrific chances.
“The game plan worked fantastically well.
“I’m pleased as punch for the players – to come here and do that was absolutely magnificent.”
Rowett set his side up with a three-man central midfield to combat Chesterfield’s 4-2-3-1 formation – and it worked so well a third clean sheet of the season resulted.
“The clean sheet’s a big thing for us and it’s not an easy place to come and get one,” said the manager.
“Again, I thought we played with a bit more discipline and defended with a bit more discipline.
“We didn’t dive in stupidly in areas.
“I didn’t see anyone dive in and make a silly tackle and we got our rewards from that.
“We shuffled over, had a game plan, we blocked spaces up and we tried to hit them on the counter-attack.
“I thought we did that to excellent effect for the majority of the game
“Keeping a clean sheet is paramount.
“It was important we didn’t give them the initiative of having space around the halfway line.
“I thought we played with real discipline and I was really pleased with the performance.
“The players could have gone under, even at 2-0 it could have been easy to let them back into it.
“We’re a brave team and it’s not always going to be a smooth road ahead but there’s one thing for sure - we’ll give our all to get where we want to be.”
Matty Palmer made his full league debut for Albion and put in a near faultless display sitting in central midfield behind Lee Bell and Robbie Weir.
Rowett was delighted with the 18-year-old’s contribution to what is Burton’s best result to date this season.
“I think he doesn’t surprise you - that’s the biggest compliment I can pay him,” he said.
“When he gets on the ball he shows more composure than anyone else.
“He gets himself into good defensive positions because he reads the game well and I thought Robbie and Belly in front of him, with Matty behind, worked well.
“It suited Belly and Robbie to go up against people - they like getting in people’s faces and playing that combative role.
“Matty likes to sit away from the game and pass the ball.
“For an 18-year-old he was fantastic.
“He’s going to have a big future and we’ve got to nurse him along slowly but surely and give him a platform.”
Rowett was also happy with the brace for McGurk, who took both his goals in clinical fashion.
“Adam’s been threatening to do that for two or three months,” said the Brewers boss.
“We know what an absolute quality player he is.
“He’s a real class act - I think he’s been much more effective when he’s played up front in the last two or three games.
“It’s taken him a while to adjust to being in League Two. He’s a good player and he was disappointed he wasn’t playing higher.
“But I think we’ll be able to give him a little bit of love and the platform to go on and achieve what he wants.
“It was magnificent today and his two goals were testament to that.”