GARY Rowett thinks Burton Albion will benefit from resting key players against Notts County in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The Brewers lost 1-0 to the Magpies at Meadow Lane on Tuesday night – their first defeat of the season in normal time.
Rowett rested skipper Lee Bell, Rory Delap and Chris Hussey and left Adam McGurk and Rene Howe on the bench.
Instead, he opted for an experimental line-up featuring the maximum five changes allowed under competition rules.
“I’m disappointed to lose, because we want to win every game, but I see this game as not a fair reflection of our run,” said the Albion boss.
“I’m not going to count this one because we’ve used it experimentally in some ways to get some players game time.”
Rowett gave starts to Phil Edwards, Matty Palmer, Jack Dyer and Dominic Knowles, with all of them putting in decent performances.
“They need game time, they need to get on the pitch,” said Rowett.
“And if you don’t give them that you’re going to end up with seven or eight players who aren’t match fit when you need them to come in.
“So, the game served its purpose.”
Hussey had a tight hamstring so missed the game but Rowett is sure his left-sided midfielder will return in time for the game against Oxford United on Saturday.
“Chris will be fine,” he said. And, again, Belly (Lee Bell) and Rory (Delap), we just decided to give them a little breather.
“I was pleased with the performance overall.”
Marcus Harness made his first-team debut at Notts and Rowett has been impressed with the impact the 17-year-old is having.
“He’s a bright spark,” he said “He’s come in and we saw a lot of him last season.
“It took him a month or two and he got involved with first-team training most of the season.
“He’s done really, really well.
“We’ve got some really good young players and that’s testament to the work done by Mike (Whitlow) and the academy.
“We’ve got a few who are really pushing for a first-team place.”