JACQUES Maghoma is hopeful that Burton Albion can show their tough exterior tomorrow (Saturday, Fenruary 16) and grind out a positive result at Fleetwood Town.
The 25-year-old midfielder – who is having his best season yet in a Brewers shirt – says Albion will need to be strong from the kick-off at Highbury Stadium.
“We’ve got to be hard to beat, compact and resilient when we go there and not concede in the first five or 10 minutes,” said the left-sided schemer.
“If we can get a 1-0 that would be brilliant or just get three points and that would kick us on for the rest of the season.
“At home we’ve been brilliant and if we can get one or two wins away we can push on.
“We’ve improved our away form with a point at Wimbledon with 10 men and a draw at Oxford.
“We got two points from our last two away games and hopefully we can build on that.”
The Brewers are fifth in the League Two table ahead of kick-off, with Fleetwood a place higher on goal difference.
If Gary Rowett’s men can reproduce their stunning home form on the road they will be a sure of a top-seven place come the end of the season.
“At home we play some really good football and have won our last six,” said Maghoma, who has netted an impressive 10 goals this season. “We work hard for each other and have got to replicate our form at home away.
“Hopefully we can, because we’re in a great position right now and want to push on for the rest of the season because we’ve got some great incentives.
“There’s only 14 games left so it’s not long to give your all and stay in there and get up automatically or stay in the play-offs – that’s the aim right now.”
Last week, Burton saw off nine-man Rotherham United at the Pirelli with a memorable performance which Maghoma was delighted to take part in.
“We had some players missing, at the back particularly with Zander (Diamond) and Sharpsy (Ian Sharps) out,” he said.
“The lads that came in, Stanno (Nathan Stanton) and Marcus (Holness), did brilliantly.
“We’ve also got a new striker up front (Michael Symes) and he played very well away at Wimbledon and again against Rotherham.
“From back to front we matched them in all areas.
“It was an all-round brilliant performance.”
Maghoma won a late penalty which Symes missed – and he is vowing to retake the spot-kick duties from now on, even if the new striker, signed on loan from Leyton Orient, claims to be an expert from 12 yards.
“I wanted to get up and take the penalty myself but Symesy was already on it, said Maghoma. “I had to come off the pitch because the referee was telling me to get off.
“I had no say in whether I got to take the penalty or not.
“I should’ve taken the penalty.
“I’ve already told him he’s not on them anymore.
“He’s said he’s going to bring a DVD of him taking penalties and I told him not to bother.
“I’ve seen one, I don’t need to see any more!
“When I was coming off Billy (Kee) was telling me he’s the best penalty taker he’s ever seen. After seeing that, I don’t think so!
“It’s just banter in the dressing room – he was confident and I was surprised he missed the penalty.
“We’ll see who takes the next one.”
Speculation has recently linked Maghoma with a summer exit from the Pirelli, but the player himself is coy on the rumours.
He insists he is just trying to enjoy his football and see what the summer brings.
“We’ll see about that,” he said.
“I’m really happy being here with the manager, fans and the other players who’ve given me everything.
“I’m enjoying my football and playing week in, week out, which is the main thing.
“Hopefully, I can carry that on for the rest of the season and push the club towards where we’re aiming for it to be.
“I’m happy and I can’t comment on anything else.”