BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett is wary of the threat posed by Exeter City’s veteran frontline – but has backed his miserly defence to deal with them.
The Grecians have one of the most dangerous attacks in League Two, featuring 37-year-old Jamie Cureton and 30-year-old Irishman John O’Flynn.
Between them, they have netted 28 goals as Exeter seek an immediate return to League One, with the much-travelled Cureton grabbing 12 of his 18 strikes on the road.
But Albion have only conceded three goals in their last six games and centre-halves Ian Sharps and Marcus Holness are ready for the challenge.
“Jamie Cureton’s a really experienced player,” said Brewers chief Rowett. “Players at his age are sometimes in the situation where the mind still works, but the legs won’t really follow.
“With him he looks like a very, very similar player to the one he was 10 years ago.
“He still makes the same sorts of movements he always did and he’s got that experience of getting into those positions.
“It doesn’t phase him getting into positions (like one-on-ones).
“What he’s found this season is a place he fits into.
“He’s from the area, or nearby being from Bristol, and knows the manager.
“It’s a really good fit and you often find with players it’s about the fit - the right place at the right time.
“You could argue that one or two of our players are the same.
“Him scoring most of his goals away doesn’t surprise me - there’s a little bit more space away from home for him to make those runs into.”
Rowett also rates O’Flynn highly, with the ex-Barnet man having scored late on to complete a 3-0 win for Exeter over Burton in September.
“He came on at the away game at Exeter and had a big influence on the game,” said the Albion boss. “He got their third goal at the time, ending up in our box after starting on halfway.
“He’s a really good player.
“Every side has got good players and they’ve got a whole host of good players in there.
“Most of them were playing in League One last season.
“We have got to be at our very, very best.”