GARY Rowett says Burton Albion’s attitude and pride is what has kept them up with the big boys in League Two.
The Brewers host Dagenham & Redbridge today, kick-off 3pm, looking for a win to stay on track for a top-three finish.
Yesterday, Albion boss Rowett called for a drive to win automatic promotion – saying he wanted more than a play-off place.
Burton are up against the likes of Chesterfield, Scunthorpe, Oxford, Rochdale, Southend and big-spending Fleetwood for a top-three berth.
And it is the way they have competed so far which has impressed the manager.
“Sometimes it’s not about how much you spend, it’s about your attitude,” said Rowett. “We don’t need to have the most money or 10,000 fans through our gate every week.
“We can still have that pride of trying to be our best.
“I think we have to keep improving and I think we’ve kept improving since we’ve (Rowett and his backroom team) been here.
“We’ve not stood still for long.”
The Albion boss has revealed he no longer calls the club ‘little old Burton’ after almost two years of punching well above their weight.
“I’m not allowed to call us Little Old Burton anymore – I got told off by a fan for that!” he joked.
“We’re now Good Old Burton.
“We try to think big as a team. Why can’t we get Burton into League One?”
In the drive for continual improvement, several established players have made fewer appearances than expected this season, and these have not been easy decisions for the manager.
“What’s difficult is you get players who’ve been loyal to the team,” said Rowett. “We’ve always looked to how we can improve.
“It’s a ruthless game and as a manager you have to be the most ruthless one of all.”
Going into the run-in, the Brewers are not going to get ahead of themselves and Rowett, assistant Kev Summerfield, first-team coach Mark Sale and goalkeeping coach Kevin Poole are keeping things simple.
“Most of the players know what we want them to do to be effective,” he said. “They know what we want - most of the lads have been in and around it for a good year now.
“The message we give in effect is quite simple.
“I think football in general is quite simple - the game hasn’t really changed.
“People talk about threes, fours and fives in different positions, but really it’s still about players.
“It doesn’t need to be complicated too much.
“The players believe in what we’re trying to do.
“They can see us getting to where we want to be.
“I’ve been pleased so far, but you’re only ever a couple of defeats away from being on the wrong kind of run.”