GARY Rowett says Burton Albion were again rewarded for being patient as they recorded a fifth away win of the season in League Two.
The Brewers beat Exeter City 1-0 at St James Park on Saturday as Phil Edwards grabbed a late goal to see off the Grecians.
“I just felt we were really patient,” said a delighted Rowett, whose side also had to stay calm before beating Torquay late on Tuesday night.
“We had some good moments in the game and coped very well when Exeter had five or 10 minutes in the second half where I thought it was starting to open up a little bit.
“I thought it was a really professional away performance and I’m really pleased.”
Albion’s fifth away win of the season equals the total they managed in the whole of last season.
They also recorded a third clean sheet on the bounce, the first time they have managed that since coming into the Football League.
“We talk about it all the time – clean sheets are the base we’ve got to work from and that’s been much better in the last four, five or six games,” said Rowett.
“We’ve looked more solid.
“Exeter, I would say, had the two clearest chances of the game and Jordan (Pickford) made two terrific saves but I think they were down to momentary lapses of concentration to allow the players to get in.
“Overall, it’s a long way to come and not get anything so it’s a really, really pleasing away performance.”
Rowett was delighed for Edwards, who has been excellent at right-back of late since arriving somewhat under the radar this summer.
“It was a fantastic delivery from the corner and Phil’s been threatening to do that for quite some time now,” said the manager.
“He’s probably the most likely to get his head on things, him and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
“For him to score was fantastic. I bigged him up in the paper a little bit - I don’t know whether he read it, but it obviously worked!”
Saturday’s win in Devon was a fourth of the season away from home against sides with promotion hopes following victories at Fleetwood, Wycombe and Chesterfield.
“We seem to like playing the top teams and in a way I hoped we might stay around ninth or 10th so we might play a few of them,” joked Rowett.
“If we start creeping up we’re going to be playing teams below us - work that one out!”
Clean sheets have not always been forthcoming for the Brewers in the last two seasons, and Rowett says they can be the difference between a top side and an also ran.
“That’s three clean sheets on the spin and I’m really pleased with that,” he said.
“Any manager will tell you they’d love to come to places and put a fantastic performance in and win a game with three or four amazing goals.
“But clean sheets win you games and get you points.
“Clean sheets get you towards the top end of the league.
“If you look at Gillingham last season, we conceded something like 64 goals and Gillingham conceded something like 36.
“That’s the difference between a good team and a half-decent team.
“We’ve got an awful long way go in terms of doing that regularly, but three clean sheets on the spin is a real start.”