GARY Rowett has shouldered the blame for Burton Albion’s back-to-back home defeats and is taking his players back to basics.
The Brewers boss wants his men to get back to what they did so well in reaching the League Two play-offs last season.
And losing 2-1 on Saturday to Portsmouth a week after a 2-0 defeat to Oxford has made up his mind.
“What’s interesting is when you get a couple of defeats like we have – and it happened at the same time last season – it makes you review things,” said Rowett.
“Sometimes you need those defeats a little bit.
“Maybe in attempting to improve things we’ve come away from what we’re good at.”
Albion were known as one of the hardest-working teams in the division last season and while they have not become lazy overnight, far from it, they have not quite had the snap seen previously.
Rowett says that in trying to improve, Albion could have taken a backwards step.
“We need to go back (to what we were doing before),” he said. “Most fans would say last year in the games we didn’t win at home, we gave it a right go.
“We got balls into the box and people were running.
“It’s been a little bit sterile and maybe that’s something I’ve taken my eye off a bit.”
The Albion boss looks at a season in sections of 10 games and has pointed to the second section of last season when a similar thing happened.
That run, beginning at Morecambe on October 6 and ending at Wycombe on November 24, saw Burton win just three games and suffer four defeats.
But they emerged from it to start a run to the play-offs, losing just one more at home.
“I look at the season in 10-game blocks and last season we took 17 points from the first 10 and 12 from the second block,” said Rowett.
“We started well but then dipped and lost 4-1 at Gillingham, who outran us, outfought us and outworked us - and you couldn’t stay that about us often last season.
“That happened on Saturday.
“We need a little more desire in certain areas and running with intent - those things come even before quality.
“If you haven’t got those things, quality doesn’t even come into it.”
Despite the disappointment of the last two games, Rowett does not blame his players and will instead work on getting things right.
“Of course, they haven’t done it on purpose - but it’s something we need to work harder on,” he said.
“We need to push a bit harder in training.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on hard work and my teams will always be about those key elements.”