GARY Rowett reckons Burton Albion are starting to see the benefits of improving fitness levels in the squad.
The Brewers have redoubled their efforts in the last few weeks to rediscover the recipe which made them so successful last season.
And Rowett is hopeful the 2-1 win at Wycombe last week can be a springboard as Albion face Southend United at home today, kick-off 3pm.
“We’ve worked a little bit harder again in the last three or four weeks,” said the Brewers boss.
“It’s pretty reminiscent of last season where our form really, really improved as fitness improved massively.
“We were unbelievably fit after Christmas – and results reflected that.”
The Albion manager is also confident that the improved fitness levels are feeding through into other areas off the pitch.
“The feel of the squad has improved – the atmosphere on the way down to Wycombe was bright and bubbly,” he said.
“But we could lose against Southend, there’s no golden recipe to getting things right.
“We’ve just taken small steps in the right direction in the last few weeks.”
Rowett has tried different line-ups and partnerships in recent matches in an effort to find the right recipe.
Although the Brewers won at Wycombe last week, the manager is cautious over claims he might now have found his best side, with the likes of Zander Diamond and Rory Delap still having massive roles to play this season.
“I think it would be a little bit disrespectful to the lads not in the team to say I have now found my best side,” said Rowett.
“Certainly, the performance last week was one with more balance and probably our best all-round one of the season, but that’s all.”