GARY Rowett is pleased with his forward combinations as the Burton Albion manager looks to strike a winning formula.
When the Brewers brought in Rene Howe over the summer, the thought was that he and Billy Kee would form a dream partnership up front, in the traditional ‘little and large’ system.
However, due to Kee’s injuries and Howe dropping down the Albion pecking order, the duo have started just one game together – the 1-0 victory over Rochdale back in August.
They played together again on Saturday though, after Adam McGurk’s first-half injury brought Kee into the fray earlier than expected, and showed promise.
Dominic Knowles and Michael Symes are also waiting in the wings, and Rowett said: “What we’ve got now is options.
“When you sign players, you always have an idea of where they will play and who they might play with, otherwise you wouldn’t be signing them.
“We knew that Calvin Zola and Billy had played well together last year, and although Rene isn’t the same sort of player as Calvin, he was brought in as a replacement.
“Dominic Knowles has shown he can have an effect, and Michael Symes has shown that he can too.
“Adam McGurk has looked fantastic up front.”
For a long time, the favoured combination was McGurk and Kee, who started six games together before Kee too, fell out of favour and Knowles came into the equation.
“It’s giving me a selection headache every week, but that’s what we want,” said Rowett.
“We can play Billy with Rene, we’ve played Billy with Adam, and I think Adam can play with Rene.
“Adam and Dominic have played together and shown good signs as well.
“So we’ve got one or two great options.
“I don’t think there’s one combination I would say is a dream pairing, but we’ve got some really exciting combinations.
“I think any successful team needs those options up front, and we’ve got five really good strikers.”
Meanwhile, Rowett has praised the endeavour of his side after yet another late rescue mission.
The Brewers scored deep into injury-time on Saturday as they salvaged a 1-1 draw to take Fleetwood Town to a replay in the second round of the FA Cup – the sixth time they have scored a late goal to rescue a draw or even snatch a win.
“It shows the determination of the squad we have here,” said Rowett.
“It’s about the type of players we wanted to bring into the club, and what type of club we are.
“The players always believe they can get something out of the game – the game is never lost.
“We’ve done it with players on the pitch, and we’ve done it by bringing players off the bench.
“We showed on Saturday that we can bring Billy Kee on and he shows that determination to help his mates get something out of the game.”