GARY Rowett has urged his men to appease Burton Albion fans with a winning performance under the gaze of the live television cameras tonight.
The Brewers came in for criticism after a below-par performance almost resulted in a first round exit at the hands of nonleaguers Altrincham at the Pirelli Stadium.
And Rowett insists there is no room for error in tonight’s replay against the Blue Square Bet North side at Moss Lane, kickoff 7.45pm, which is being broadcast live by ESPN.
The Brewers boss said: “It’s a game we want to win and it’s a game we need to win to put right the home performance against Altrincham.” Lacklustre Albion had to come from 2-0 and 3-2 down in a incident-placed game that featured own goals by defenders Nathan Stanton and Damien McCrory and missed penalties by both teams.
The blushes of Rowett’s men were eventually spared when Calvin Zola levelled the scores in the third minute of added time.
Rowett said: “It was a close call and we’re grateful for having another chance to win the tie.
“We owe that to our fans and we owe it to ourselves to make up for being so poor in the first half of the original tie.
“We can’t afford to start as badly again because we now know what Altrincham are about — and there can be no excuses for being taken by surprise second time around.” Rowett is likely to make changes to the side beaten by a solitary late goal in Saturday’s League Two encounter with promotion rivals Cheltenham Town.
McCrory is expected to return to the starting line-up with Nathan Stanton reverting back to his usual central defensive role after covering for the suspended left-back at the weekend.
Rowett also hopes to have midfielder Jacques Maghoma back in the side, while Billy Kee may be given another chance to recapture last season’s scoring form.
The Brewers boss is acutely aware that he needs to keep players as fresh as possible with crucial home league games against Dagenham & Redbridge and Aldershot Town following tonight’s replay in quick succession.
But he insists he is looking no further forward than trying to plot victory at Moss Lane.
He said: “It’s worrying that we’re only going to have one day to recover for the Dagenham game and there has got to be an element of forward thinking involved.
“But first and foremost we’ve got to concentrate our efforts on putting the Altrincham tie to bed because we very much want to be the team running out at Crewe in the next round.”
Alty boss Lee Sinnott has called on the Cheshire side’s supporters to roar their team to the 17th Football League scalp in their history.
He said: “If they can really get a cracking atmosphere going, it can make a big difference.
It’s up to the players and supporters to bounce off each other.
“I want the players to inspire the fans and the fans to inspire the players. That’s the way to build some momentum and give ourselves the best chance of winning the tie.
“This club has a great record in the FA Cup, and I am sure the supporters will have played a part in that. It promises to be a special night and we want to make it a memorable one.
“There is a lot of excitement, and the players are looking forward to it, but I have just cautioned them a bit about some of the things surrounding the evening.
“Once they cross the white line, their focus has to be solely on winning the game, not the cameras or size of the crowd.
“If they think of anything but the job in hand, it can put them off their stride, so I will be reminding them of that.” Rowett is hoping live television coverage will work in Albion’s favour.
He said: “If anything, I think the fact it’s a live TV game has flipped the tie a little bit because the cameras are purely there because of the chance of an upset.
“I think that puts a bit more pressure on Altrincham, but we’ll go there and show them the respect they deserve for the terrific performance they put in at Burton.”
Midfielder Carl Rodgers, who gave Altrincham the lead in the Pirelli Stadum tie, is ruled out by a hamstring injury.
ALBION have been drawn at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.
The Pirelli Stadium tie has been arranged for Monday, December 3, kick-off 7pm.
The Brewers began the competition with a 2-1 win against Kidderminster Harriers and had Marcus Harness (2), Isaac Currie, Matt Palmer and Mark Shelton on target in a 5-0 defeat of Scunthorpe outfit Bottesford Town in the second round.
Admission to the third round tie will be £3 for adults and £1 for juniors.