06:00 Monday 30 December 2013

Gary Rowett delighted with Burton Albion performance against promotion rivals Newport County

Written byTOM SLOAN

29/12/13 Burton Albion v Newport CountyBurton Albion vs Newport at the Pirelli Stadium.Goal 29/12/13 Burton Albion v Newport CountyBurton Albion vs Newport at the Pirelli Stadium.Goal

GARY Rowett reckons his Burton Albion side played as well as they have all year as they dispatched Newport County 1-0.

The Brewers saw off League Two’s in-form side at the Pirelli Stadium yesterday with a late goal from Billy Kee to climb up to third at the season’s halfway point.

And Rowett was delighted after dominant Albion finally ground down a side with one defeat in their last 10 league matches.

“I would say that’s as well as we’ve played in 2013,” said the manager. “We’ve played really well against the in-form team in the division over the last 10 games.

“They’ve been really flying high and have won their last two or three away from home.

“We’re just playing with a real edge about us at the moment.

“I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing.”

Rowett believes his side is still not firing on all cylinders and expects even more in the second half of the campaign as Burton chase promotion to League One.

“I still think there’s more to come from us and that’s what’s most pleasing,” he said. “We’re still only playing at 90-95 per cent.

“It’s a pleasure working with the group – the players and the staff – it’s a joy to be part of.

“But we’ve got to keep going.

“You set targets sometimes, personally.

“If you’d said to me at the start of the season could we have hit halfway with more than last season, when we had 33 points?

“Well, now we’re on 41 and that puts us joint top with three teams.”

Burton had a wobble at home earlier in the season when they won just once in six games at the Pirelli.

Now, they have won five out of the last six in all competitions on their own patch.

“We’ve shown real consistency,” said Rowett. “We talked about winning games at home and again we looked like we might not do that early on in the season.

“But we kept our heads and kept working to try to iron out where we felt we might have problems.

“We’ve been really positive in the last five home games.

“We aren’t going to win them all, but we’re certainly coming out to try and win.”

The manager had mooted changes to his side due to the frantic run of games but ended up making just one yesterday.

“Again, we talked about rotating the squad and it’s always a difficult one,” said Rowett. “When you’re going well it’s sometimes easier to leave it alone to a certain degree.

“We’ve won 1-0 but we’ve created another four or five really good chances which we just can’t seem to put away.

“But while we’re creating them I’m quite pleased.

“First half we were really dominant and then second half you know they’re going to come back into it but I thought we played with good control.”

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