05:48 Friday 06 December 2013

Adam McGurk in race against time to be fit for FA Cup second round tie

Written byTOM SLOAN

Burton's Adam McGurk shields the ball from Plymouth's Jamie Reckord - Photo mandatory by-line: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle - Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 - Mobile:0797 1270 681 - VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 - 30/11/2013 - SPORT - FOOTBALL - SKY Bet LEAGUE TWO - Plymout Burton's Adam McGurk shields the ball from Plymouth's Jamie Reckord - Photo mandatory by-line: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle - Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 - Mobile:0797 1270 681 - VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 - 30/11/2013 - SPORT - FOOTBALL - SKY Bet LEAGUE TWO - Plymout

ADAM McGurk faces a late fitness test ahead of Burton Albion’s trip to Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup second round tomorrow.

The Brewers’ top scorer picked up a heel injury in last week’s 1-0 win at Plymouth and has sat out training.

Albion boss Gary Rowett is hopeful his eight-goal striker will be fit for the trip to Highbury Stadium, kick-off 3pm, with a tie against a Premier League big boy potentially up for grabs.

“Adam’s not trained all week,” he said. “He’s very sore after getting a knock around the heel area.

“I’m hoping that he’ll be fit for the game.

“We’ll assess that towards kick-off.”

Should McGurk miss out at Fleetwood, where he netted his first goal for Burton in their 3-2 League Two win in August, it could allow Rene Howe a first start since mid-September.

Howe also scored at Fleetwood in August as Albion flew into a 3-0 lead in Lancashire before they held on to take the three points.

It was Burton’s second win at the ground in 2013 following their 4-0 demolition of the Cod Army back in February.

Rowett is wary of a possible backlash tomorrow and says Albion, on a run of three 1-0 wins in League Two and sitting in sixth, a point off top spot, will have to be even better than on their last two visits to Town.

“There’s bound to be a little part of them that thinks ‘we owe them one’,” he said. “We’ve got to guard against that.

“We’ve got to be prepared for a little extra edge to Fleetwood, but Graham (Alexander) is an excellent manager and an experienced footballer, so it’ll be professional.

“We know we’ve got to go there and do probably a bit more than on our two previous visits.

“We knew that when we got them in the draw, and it’s a difficult draw.

“But we’ve shown with our away form that we haven’t got to fear anyone.”

Michael Symes (groin) and Adam Reed (hamstring) will both be missing tomorrow, but Rory Delap (hamstring) has trained all week.

The 37-year-old could be involved in the matchday squad for the first time since early September.

“We’re trying to weigh up the impact of having him on the bench with him not quite 100 per cent,” said Rowett. “We also need to weight up the fact he’s broken down twice in training, with the fantastic experience and ability he offers us.

“Again, we’ll have to assess that. I’m sure that after his absence he’ll be keen to play some part.

“What he gives you - well, we know he can play right-back, but he gives you so much more.

“He gives you great flexibility in how you can use him and where you can play him.

“He’s going to add to what we’ve got.”

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