SHANE Cansdell-Sherriff hopes that Burton Albion can keep their Wembley-reaching squad together for another go at promotion next year.
The Australian centre-half’s loan expired after yesterday’s League Two play-off semi-final defeat to Fleetwood Town, but he has publicly stated his intention to sign permanently for the Brewers.
With a number of other players out of contract this summer or coming to the end of their loan spells, there is a risk that the team could break up.
But Cansdell-Sherriff is hopeful that others will follow his lead.
“I’m sure the gaffer will keep most of the squad together – and add a couple more,” he said.
“Hopefully we can keep this squad together and build for next year because it’s a good group.”
The Albion went down 1-0 as Antoni Sarcevic’s fortunate free-kick sailed over an out-of-position Dean Lyness.
And Cansdell-Sherriff admitted that games were won and lost on moments like that.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said.
“It’s going to be a hard one for Deano to take.
“But that’s football.
“I should have scored a header at one of the corners, and so these are the things that you are going to look back on after 90 minutes.
“They end up getting that one goal that divides us.”
The statistics bore out the fact that it was a close game, which made the defeat all the harder to take.
“It’s a hard blow and a hard thing to take,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“We’ve worked hard all season to get the results and get to here, and to lose by one goal like that is tough – especially when we had so much possession and so many chances in the second half.
“Throughout the game I don’t think there was a lot in it. One goal was always going to separate us, either way, in the end.
“And it happened to bounce for them in the end.”
Burton improved after a slow start and always looked like they might snatch an equaliser to take the game to extra-time.
“I don’t think we settled well enough in the first half,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“We got back in it in the second half but then conceded at a rough time.
“Then it was hard because we had that bit more pressure on us to get an equaliser.
“Then they were digging in deep and we couldn’t break through.
“Everyone should take pride in the fact that we didn’t get caught up in the occasion.
“We weren’t out of the game at any point; we did bits and pieces and in the second half we were a lot better.”
After losing in the semi-finals last season, Burton have taken a step forward, and will hope to go even further next year.
“For me personally, you’ve got to look at yourself and how you did individually,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“And then as a team you look around and take the positives.
“The gaffer has just said we’ve worked really hard to get where we are and we still performed really well.
“We had the chance, and you’ve just got to take the positives and build from there.”