GARY Rowett was hugely impressed with Germany’s quality in their 7-1 demolition of Brazil to set up a World Cup final meeting with Argentina this weekend.
But that performance turned his mind back to two heavy defeats Burton Albion suffered.
The Brewers boss, like most people watching Tuesday night’s semi-final, was stunned by the Germans as they utterly dismantled the hosts in Belo Horizonte.
But he also recalled two devastating 7-1 defeats Albion have suffered in his reign, the first at Bristol Rovers in April, 2012, and the second at Port Vale a year later.
“As much as I was excited by the game, it made me think back to the Bristol Rovers and Port Vale games we lost 7-1,” he said.
“It’s not nice when you’re on the receiving end.
“The semi-final win over Brazil was bizarre – no-one knew what to expect, but I don’t think many people expected that.”
Rowett and his Brewers squad were on their training camp in Portugal when they tuned in to watch a game which will go down in history as one of the most incredible in the World Cup’s 84-year history.
Some of the lads fancied Brazil – but Rowett has tipped Germany from the start of the tournament.
“All the players were in the TV room at the hotel,” he said. “It was a bizarre game – we spoke about it before and one or two of the lads thought Brazil would win it.
“I said before the tournament that Germany or Argentina would win it – and that’s how it’s turned out.
“In the game there were 22 amazingly talented players out there, but 11 of those players played as a unit. That was there to see.”
It is the sort of collective team spirit that Rowett has instilled in his Albion side, who will soon look to go one better than last season and win promotion from League Two.
“Being a team goes a long way,” said the manager. “It was all about the collective group and not about the individuals in it.
“Individuals can win you games in a moment, but you can’t beat that team ethos.
“Germany are a very good example.
“Brazil had more possession, if you can believe the stats, but Germany sat in with a defensive line, soaked it up and then attacked with devastating effect.
“Germany out-ran and out-fought Brazil and played with quality as well.
“It was refreshing to see a team say ‘you can have the ball, then when we get it back we’ll counter-attack you’.”