05:45 Monday 13 January 2014

Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett relaxed on new striker signing after Dominic Knowles show against Cheltenham in League Two

Written byTOM SLOAN

11/01/14 Burton Albion v CheltenhamBurton Albion .v. Cheltenham....Dominic Knowles second goal 11/01/14 Burton Albion v CheltenhamBurton Albion .v. Cheltenham....Dominic Knowles second goal

GARY Rowett will not be too worried if he does not sign a striker in the January transfer window after Dominic Knowles struck a brace to beat Cheltenham Town 2-1.

The Brewers came from behind on Saturday to take three points and stay second in the League Two table.

Knowles hit the first Football League goals of his career – and could get more of a chance now that Rene Howe has departed the Pirelli Stadium.

Rowett would still like to sign a striker in January, but will not be overly concerned if no-one arrives.

“We’ve got four fantastic strikers,” said the Albion boss. “I still think there’ll be an opportunity to bring another in.

“But if we don’t, I don’t think we’ll be any worse off.

“When you do certain things in the summer to try to strengthen, one or two suffer for it a little bit

“I think Symesy (Michael Symes) has got so much more to offer we’ve not seen yet.

“Knowlesy is the same.

“(If no-one arrives) I think it’ll give Knowlesy time on the pitch and Symesy time on the pitch.

“Then we’ll see what they’re about.

“We’re certainly not short of numbers.”

The Brewers fell behind just after the hour to a Byron Harrison goal at the Pirelli before substitute Knowles hit a brace.

New loan signing Zeli Ismail also had an impact and set both goals up after coming off the bench.

Rowett always planned to introduce the pacy winger and was rewarded with immediate impact.

“It was always a little bit of an idea - certainly with Zeli - because I’ve seen what he can do,” said the manager.

“I think everyone else has seen what he can do now.

“I might give Wolves a ring and see if I can get him for the season, right this minute!

“Second half we showed bags of character.

“Sometimes it makes it easier when you’re chasing a game, ironically, because you just go for it.

“That’s what we’re about. We’re that type of team, we’re full-blooded.

“We’ve got loads of energy.

“I said to the lads at half-time that our fitness would hopefully start to come into play as the second half went on.

“I think you see the impact Zeli had on the right. It just put them on the back foot a little bit. He got some great balls into the box.”

Rowett hopes the goals will give Knowles - a prolific scorer last season in Conference North - some added confidence.

“That’s what Knowlesy can do,” he said. “I think he’s suffered a little bit recently with other players coming onto the pitch instead of him.

“What he shows you is he’s got so much to offer.

“He works his socks off. We know he can finish and he’s been really unfortunate he’s not managed to get a goal in the first-team.

“I’m hoping that really kicks him on but he’s got lots and lots of ability and he took his two goals really well.”

The Brewers boss admitted his side were a bit under-par in the first half, but thinks it was a bit of rustiness after plenty of rest - rest which will benefit the players in the long term.

“If you look at the first half of the game we looked like we hadn’t played for 10 days,” said Rowett. “We looked a little bit leggy. We’ve given quite a lot of different bits of time off and I think hopefully that’s going to benefit us long term.

“But in the immediate short term we looked a little bit leggy.

“We created one or two opportunities first half still even though that was the case.

“I just thought today it was a real testament to the character of the side.

“Also, I felt second half we showed some real quality as well to get back into the game.”

There was a return to the starting XI for Zander Diamond, who replaced the injured Shane Cansdell-Sherriff for just his 10th appearance of the season.

“Zander was terrific,” said the manager. “He’s another one who’s been unlucky with Shane’s and Sharpsey’s (Ian Sharps) form.

“It’s not another clean sheet but we’ve only conceded one and again that column starts to look better and better as we go on.

“If you just look at it as a whole, we played okay first half - we still created chances - we created lots more second half and should’ve scored one or two more.

“Their keeper’s made some terrific saves.

“I was really, really pleased today, particularly after one or two of the moments first half.”

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