GARY Rowett is delighted to have a selection problem in midfield ahead of Burton Albion’s trip to Exeter City.
The Brewers visit the high-flying Grecians tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, looking to build on their excellent away record this season.
Rowett surprised a few by leaving Lee Bell out of his midfield for Tuesday night’s 2-0 home win over Torquay United.
Instead, he retained 18-year-old prospect Matty Palmer, dropping skipper Bell from the side which beat Chesterfield 2-0 away to allow striker Billy Kee’s return after suspension.
“It’s great at the moment we’ve got that problem,” said the Albion boss.
“For Matty to play instead of Belly shows how much progress he’s made in the last six months.
“I didn’t feel Belly particularly deserved to be dropped, but by the same token Matty deserved to stay in.
“We’ve got to look at getting the right development for Matty.
“Occasionally he will need four or five games on the spin, and he may also need to come out after five games or so.”
Albion played a 4-1-4-1 formation – or a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 depending on how you look at it – in their victory at the Proact Stadium last week.
Rowett reverted to a 4-4-2 line-up against Torquay and faces another big decision tomorrow.
“There are a couple of options - the obvious thing would be to play the same way we did at Chesterfield,” he said.
“We’ve also got the option to play the same team which beat Torquay on Tuesday.
“In terms of our formation, we’ve got more flexibility now.
“Previously, we always played with a target man.
“While that’s an excellent option, with Adam McGurk in the side he gives us loads of immediate flexibility because he can play in several positions.”
A trip down to St James’ Park gives Rowett a chance to meet up with Grecians boss Paul Tisdale.
The Albion manager knows any Tisdale side will reflect the intelligence of their manager.
“It is going to be (as hard a game as Chesterfield),” said Rowett. “I know Paul quite well from years ago.
“We did our UEFA A Licence together many moons ago.
“He’s a good guy and the success he’s had shows what a really good, resourceful manager he is.
“The challenge, as always when playing a Paul Tisdale side, is they have their manager’s intelligence to change formation and do different things during the game.
“But we’ve been good away from home.
“I’ll be honest and say we’re really looking forward to going down there because we’re in good form. We should be looking forward to games.”
Rory Delap (hamstring) is still a doubt for Albion, but apart from the veteran they have a fully fit squad to pick from.