BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett has not even thought about a Wembley final as his side prepares to face Southend in their League Two play-off semi-final first leg, writes TOM SLOAN.
The Brewers host the Shrimpers at the Pirelli Stadium on Sunday, kick-off noon, and anyone associated with either club could be forgiven for dreaming of the final.
But Rowett is looking no further ahead than Sunday’s tie.
Should Albion reach the final, the manager also says it would be an achievement for his players, not for him.
“I haven’t even thought about it,” he told Mailsport.
“Once you start getting fixated about that prize then you perhaps take your eye off the ball elsewhere.
“I’m no different to anyone else, I would love it – not for me, not for my CV, I don’t care about that – but when you’ve worked with a bunch of players for 46 games that have worked so hard to get where they are, you want it for them.
“You want it for them and for their families because it can make a difference to them – a lot more difference than it would make to me.
“So I think what’s important to me is we give them the best possible platform and preparation so they’re ready for the game and appreciate what it means, or what it could possibly be after that for them, not for me.
“Of course, I’d love a promotion and would love to get to Wembley, but at the same time we’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do before then.”
Forward Adam McGurk could be fit for Sunday’s match after missing the last four games with a groin injury.
But key defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff is more doubtful as he recovers from an Achilles injury.
“Adam’s trained this week, again we’ll have to assess how sharp he is, how fit he is, but we’ve been doing a lot of fitness work with him over the last two or three weeks,” said Rowett.
“Shane’s recovered really well but we’re not sure if it’s going to be enough to make this weekend.”
Should the 31-year-old centre-half miss out, Rowett is confident that his replacement, Marcus Holness, will deliver the goods.
“What I’d say is Marcus has come into the side in the last few weeks and done fantastically - he’s been brilliant, arguably our best player for the last three or four games,” said the manager.
“So if it’s Marcus who plays or Shane who plays I can trust either of them implicitly so I’ve got no problems with that at all.”