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Gary Rowett plans changes as Burton Albion prepare to visit Newport County

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 21, 2014

Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett

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GARY Rowett will reshuffle his Burton Albion pack for today’s trip to Newport County, kick-off 3pm.

The Brewers boss will bring fresh legs into his side after Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Hartlepool.

Marcus Holness is expected to start in place of injured centre-half Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, while there could be a first start since September for striker Michael Symes.

“The key for us is we’ve got a day less recovery than everyone else and therefore we need fresh legs,” said the Albion boss, whose side was one of only four in League Two asked to play on Saturday.

“We’ve got players in the squad champing at the bit.

“Ashley Hemmings hasn’t started a game yet and is desperate to.

“Symesy is desperate to start a game, (Dominic) Knowlesy is desperate to start a game.”

Gary Alexander played all 90 minutes against Hartlepool, so is likely to be rested, while the substitutions of Robbie Weir and Billy Kee suggest they will be asked to play again today.

For Cansdell-Sherriff, tendonitis in his Achilles means he joins Rob Lainton (finger), Damien McCrory (knee) and Adam McGurk (groin) on the sidelines today.

In Lainton’s absence, Freddy Hall will continue as back-up goalkeeper after his first appearance on the bench on Saturday.

“Shane’s had tendonitis in his Achilles all week, we had to manage it,” said Rowett of the key 31-year-old defender

“He hasn’t trained this week and got through the game. I knew I’d probably have to leave him out of Monday’s game.

“As it is, he just felt it a little bit more towards the end.

“We’ll make changes for Monday and freshen it up with 48 hours to recover.

“One or two will need a breather.”

Rowett was pleased Saturday’s win all but guarantees a play-off place.

With York beating Oxford, it means the Brewers need just a point to guarantee their place in the top seven.

As it stands, Oxford would have to win all their remaining games and Burton lose theirs to rob them of the play-offs.

“That all but solidifies our play-off place, which is nice,” said Rowett. “That’s something we wanted to do.

“I know mathematically there’s still a chance we still might not have enough points.

“But I think we can now go and relax and see if we can try one or two things and chase third place.”

With Chesterfield and Scunthorpe drawing and Rochdale imploding against Southend, the gap from fifth-placed Albion to third is four points.

Fleetwood, in fourth, are in pole position should one of the top three falter - but the Brewers still have an outside chance.

“We’ll need to win again on Monday and need one or two to slip up,” said Rowett.

“Then we go into the last two games with everything to do.

“It’d be nice to do, but the first achievement for us is play-offs - if we get in the play-offs again this season it’s a fantastic achievement for the group.

“We’ve had overcome a few obstacles recently with injuries and the likes of Damo (McCrory) missing the rest of the season and Rob possibly the same.”

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