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Jacques Maghoma faces late fitness test for Burton Albion ahead of Bristol Rovers clash

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

26/02/13 Burton Albion .v. Morecambe - Pirelli Stadium, Burton Burton Albion vs Morecambe at the Pirelli Stadium.Jacques Maghoma

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JACQUES Maghoma faces a late fitness test on his injured ankle before Burton Albion’s trip to Bristol Rovers tomorrow.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who has been a real star as the Brewers blasted themselves into promotion contention, took a heavy knock in the 3-2 win over Morecambe on Tuesday night.

“He’s okay but will be struggling to play at the weekend,” said Albion boss Gary Rowett. “He’s a real doubt.

“We don’t think it’s anything particularly long-term but will have to wait and see.”

Jimmy Phillips is set to deputise on the left of midfield should Maghoma miss out at the Memorial Stadium, kick-off 3pm, while Rowett has several other quandaries ahead of the match.

The Brewers are in excellent form as they chase promotion from League Two – they have won their last four – and the boss is wary of making changes which could disrupt his side.

“The danger is while there’s a need to keep it fresh, we don’t want to lose momentum,” said Rowett, whose side sits in third spot behind Gillingham and Port Vale on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run.

“Before Tuesday and the Morecambe game I would have said Bristol Rovers would definitely be a game I’d use with one or two individuals back in contention to keep us fresh.

“What you see from time to time, though, is players who look like needing a rest coming back strongly.

“I thought Billy (Kee) and Alex (MacDonald) could maybe do with a rest against Morecambe, but both played and did really well.

“It was probably Alex’s best performance since he came here.

“Players are going to have one or two games where they look jaded but they right it themselves.”

Calvin Zola and Zander Diamond are fighting to get back in the starting XI, the latter following a four-game ban.

But both have been told to be patient as they will not automatically walk back into the side.

Burton visit the scene of their worst defeat since entering the Football League tomorrow following last season’s 7-1 mauling by the Pirates.

But tomorrow the only likely starters from that side are either Maghoma or Phillips on the left wing.

Goalkeeper Ross Atkins was only on loan from Derby, while defenders Patrick Ada, Ryan Austin and Danny Blanchett have left the club, along with midfielder Adam Bolder and striker Justin Richards.

Nathan Stanton (knee) is out injured and Zola and Andy Corbett will probably be on the bench.

From the bench on April 14, 2012, Greg Pearson is no longer with the club, nor is Tony James. Adi Yussuf is out long-term injured and Cleveland Taylor and Chris Palmer are in the reserves.

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