MATTY Palmer says Burton Albion were beaten by “the best team we’ve played” as they were unable to gatecrash Chesterfield’s promotion party.
The Spireites came to the Pirelli Stadium yesterday looking for the points needed to secure themselves a spot in the third tier, and went about their mission with ruthless zeal.
A Jay O’Shea brace earned them a 2-0 win and the Brewers must put that performance behind them quickly as they refocus on their own promotion push.
“We didn’t really turn up today,” said Palmer.
“It was a difficult game and they’re obviously a good team because they’ve been up there all year.
“Nothing went for us, we’d try and put a few passes together and one of us would make a mistake.
“They moved the ball really well and they deserve to go up.
“First half we started too deep with the midfielders coming onto the defenders and we didn’t really push out.
“That made it very difficult for the two strikers and other players to support them.
“We’re very disappointed with how we played, but the important games are in the play-offs.”
Albion secured their place in the play-offs last week, and yesterday’s performance had a touch of a team who had taken their foot off the gas up against one with their foot firmly to the floor.
This weekend’s trip to Southend United will affect where Albion finish in the league, and thus who they will face, but more than that, it is a chance for players to stake a claim for a place in the end-of-season shake-up matches.
“We’ll go again Saturday and then it’s the play-offs,” said Palmer.
“Southend are another good team next week, and it’s good to test yourself against the best teams.
“Hopefully we can put in a better performance.
“We’ve just got to turn up and play our game – hopefully that will get us through.
“Hopefully I’ll get a chance next week, perform well and prove a point to the gaffer.”
Palmer played in an unfavoured role yesterday, wide on the right of midfield, where he and right-back Phil Edwards did a decent job of keeping quiet Chesterfield’s recently-crowned League Two Player of the Year, Gary Roberts.
But asked if Gary Rowett had given him a man-marking job on the lively winger, Palmer said: “The gaffer didn’t say that to me, he just put me out there and I tried to do as good a job as I could.
“My position is centre-mid, so hopefully I’ll play in there for the next few games.
“But I’ll play wherever the gaffer wants me.
“He (Roberts) is a very good player, you can tell he’s played at a high standard, but Phil and I did a pretty good job on him, but it was just other parts of the pitch where we didn’t play as well as we can.”