BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett says his side have nothing to fear after the fixtures for the 2014/15 season were released yesterday.
The Brewers start their campaign away to Oxford United in a tie they won last year, before two home games against Dagenham & Redbridge and Exeter City.
Last year, the only team to do the double over Rowett’s side were Southend United, who Albion then beat in the play-off semi-finals.
“We’ve proved we can competitive over the last two years and there is certainly no-one we should fear,” said Rowett.
“Away at Oxford is an excellent game and one we’ll look forward to, but the fixture list is no indicator of how we’re going to do.
“The better you do, the less concerned you are about the fixture list.
“Last season it looked like being a difficult end to the campaign, but because of the way we have strengthened this summer, we don’t think that will be a problem next year.”
The Brewers’ season starts and ends with visits to the country’s big university towns, as they travel to Cambridge United in the final game on May 2.
Albion host Tranmere Rovers on Boxing Day and Wycombe on Easter Monday.
They have long midweek trips to Wimbledon on September 16, Carlisle on October 21 and Exeter on March 3.
Because of league and FA Cup games scheduled for January 3, there will be no game on New Year’s Day this season and that – coupled with relatively few taxing midweek away games - has left Rowett satisfied.
“Having no game on January 1 will possibly improve things this season because that is a busy time of year, and if you can lose one of those games, it could be a big help, he said.
“We’ve got a few long away trips in midweek, but not too many compared to last season, when it felt like we had a big bunch of games down in the south-west on Tuesday nights.”
He added: “It’s going to be a strong division again.
“Bury have recruited quite well this summer, and Portsmouth look like they will be quite strong.
“But you don’t know until you face the sides.”