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Rowett looking to sprinkle cup magic

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

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GARY Rowett believes Burton Albion can "play without fear" as they attempt to add to their list of cup successes.

The Brewers visit former League Two adversaries Crewe Alexandra in the second round of the FA Cup tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, looking to repeat their Capital One Cup exploits.

Rowett's men dumped out Sheffield United and Leicester City before eventually losing to Bradford City in an extra-time thriller.

The 4-2 victory over Leicester at the King Power Stadium in August will go down as one of the great nights in Albion's history — and Rowett is hoping for a repeat performance at Gresty Road as he side strive for a place in the third round for only the fifth time in the club's history.

Rowett said: "It's a great game for us to go and try and repeat the little bit of success we've had in cup competitions this season.

"We've been to the likes and Sheffield United and Leicester and did really well to cause an upset in both games and we also put on an excellent performance at Coventry (in the Johnstone Paint Trophy), where we only lost on penalties.

"That's a fantastic set of results away to teams from a higher league — in Leicester's case two divisions higher.

"Crewe is another occasion for us to go out and play without fear or the pressure of trying to get league points.

"I think it's a great opportunity, similar to the other cup games, for us to try to test the opposition to the maximum.

"We can adopt a slightly different approach to normal because it's a one-off game instead of one in which you're trying to build something for the future."

However, Rowett acknowledged it will not be easy to conquer a side who has found their feet in League One after gaining promotion via the play-offs last season.

The Brewers boss said: "I've got a lot of time and respect for Steve Davis. He's done a great job since taking over from Dario Gradi.

"Crewe still follow that great tradition of having technically gifted players in their side, but what Steve has done is add some strength and athleticism.

"I think he's got a nice blend of players capable of coping with different types of opposition.

"I'm looking forward to what should be a really good test for us."

The tie is also eagerly awaited by Albion midfielder Lee Bell and striker Calvin Zola, both of whom moved to the Pirelli Stadium from Crewe.

Rowett hopes the pair revel in the return to their old stamping ground and thinks they could play pivotal roles.

The Brewers boss said: "Having ex-Crewe players in our side gives us is a nice edge - as long as they try to prove a point in the right direction.

"I know when the draw was made both Belly and Calvin were really pleased it gave them the chance to go back to their old club.

"But it won't be just about those two because this game is a chance for one or two other players to impress and show they can get back to their best form."

Albion have already banked more than £50,000 from this season's competition and will pick up another £27,000 from the prize fund if they can pull off an upset tomorrow.

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