08:00 Thursday 12 December 2013

Gary Rowett backs Matty Palmer to return in style for Burton Albion

Written byDAVID BROOME

GARY Rowett hopes that Matty Palmer’s break from the rigours of senior football will help the talented youngster get back to his best when he returns.

Palmer, 18, missed out on the Burton Albion first XI in Saturday’s 1-1 FA Cup second round draw at Fleetwood Town, after starting nine consecutive games for the Brewers.

And Rowett admitted that he had planned to rest the teenager in the previous game away to Plymouth Argyle.

“I felt as though it was a game we could rest him for, and we probably should have,” he said.

“But with the big pitch down there, we thought we might need to keep hold of the ball a bit more, so we put Matty wide on the right.

“When he comes back, hopefully he will have that spark that marked his first few games.

“He started the season really well, but there was no point putting him in for 40 games in a row and expecting him to maintain that standard.

“Maybe next time he comes in he will stay in for 10 games, or 12 games.

“But we’ve got to be careful we don’t expect too much.”

Palmer’s first-team football last season amounted to 34 minutes across three substitute appearances, but this campaign, he is one of just five players to have been named in every squad, and has featured in 18 of the 24 games played so far.

“I’ve not been surprised by the way he’s taken to it, but I have been pleased,” said Rowett.

“He was a player we were hoping we could bring into the first team squad and have an impact, and he has certainly done that.

“We’re just hopeful we can get the right balance with him”

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