GARY Rowett reckons Burton Albion are perfectly placed to press home their League Two promotion claims in the second half of the season — despite a rare slip-up at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Brewers dropped five places to 10th after Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Aldershot Town.
But Rowett’s men remain only three points off an automatic promotion spot and will be looking to consolidate their position against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park this afternoon, kick-off 3pm.
The Brewers boss said: “We started the season looking to be on around 35 points or better at the halfway stage.
“We’re currently on 29 points with four to go, so if we can pick things up again after losing to Aldershot we have every chance of making our first target.
“If we can do that, the next challenge will be to do the same in the second half of the season to try to get to the 70 point mark, which might be enough to put us in the mix come April.” Rowett remains philosophic about the lacklustre performance that cost Albion dear against the Shots.
“It was galling to lose the game the way we did, but I don’t want to be too negative about it.
“I prefer to flip things and take the view that we’ve had a decent points tally from the last seven or eight games.
“Unfortunately, you can’t get everything you want from every game you play — especially in a division that’s as tight as League Two where there’s not that big a difference between the top and bottom sides.
“Cheltenham are a prime example of that because they’ve had two four-goal defeats since everything looked rosy for them when they beat us a couple of weeks ago.
“There will be times when we fall short but the process (of building a team) doesn’t happen overnight.
“But we’ve come a long way since last season and we’ll work harder than ever to try to make sure we continue to move in the right direction.”
Rowett will almost certainly try to strengthen his squad when the transfer window re-opens.
He said: “January is the next point where we sit down and anyalise what we’ve got and try to establish what we need in terms of players.
“I won’t bring in players for the sake of it because the numbers are decent as players come back from injury.
“But if a quality player or two pop up who we think can improve things, then we’ll definitelly be interested in signing them.”
BURTON Albion’s academy have formed a link with Mickleover Sports Juniors for the purposes of player recruitment, development and player pathways in the Midlands area.
The agreement will see new opportunities for the recruitment and development of young players between seven and 18.
The Brewers’ academy coaches will direct players who show potential to continue their development at Mickleover Sports, as well as offering promising Mickleover players the opportunity to enter the academy.
Academy manager Mike Whitlow said: “We are delighted to announce the formation of this partnership with Mickleover Sports Juniors.
“The link will enhance the prospects of both clubs’ junior age groups and provide better opportunities for young footballers in the Midlands area to develop their potential.”
Mickleover Sports Juniors FC were present at Burton Albion’s fixture against Dagenham & Redbridge where the players provided a guard of honour for the two teams before kick off as well as parading around the pitch at half time.
Caroline Simpson, secretary at Mickleover, said: “We are delighted to be working with Burton Albion Academy.
“The link has also provided us with an opportunity to gain coaching knowledge and techniques from the academy's highly experienced coaches.”