GARY Rowett thinks goals from midfield could be key for Burton Albion during the League Two run-in.
Wide-man Jacques Maghoma has been in sparkling goalscoring form this season and leads the way with 14, closely followed by strikers Billy Kee and Calvin Zola with 13 each.
But midfielders Robbie Weir and Lee Bell have both chipped in with valuable goals in recent weeks, and on-loan Burnley winger Alex MacDonald has also netted his first for the club.
And Rowett is only too aware of how important midfield goals can be.
“It’s massive,” he said. “We said at the start of the season it was important we got goals from other areas.
“The strikers got a few between them last season but the defenders contributed very few and I think Aaron (Webster) was the only one to get more than one.
“We didn’t get enough goals from midfield either.
“We looked at it in the summer and looked at getting people to do that.”
Weir and Bell both arrived at the Pirelli Stadium in the summer and Weir looked like being prolific after a free-scoring pre-season.
He then found goals harder to come by, but has now hit three in his last three, while Bell has also found his range of late.
Add in the phenomenal form of Jacques Maghoma this season, as well as a few goals from the likes of Cleveland Taylor, Chris Palmer and MacDonald, and Albion have mustered 30 from midfield in all competitions.
“We always hoped Robbie would do that,” said Rowett. “I wasn’t aware of Belly’s ability in front of goal – it’s not something you think about with him with his aggression and composure on the ball.
“With Jacques on the left and Alex on the right we’re now starting to think if the strikers don’t have a good day, we can nick a goal from elsewhere.
“Belly’s been great and what we always have to be aware of is that with the way Robbie plays, Lee is always further away from goal.
“But as he showed at Dagenham, when he gets around the box he can be very creative.”
Meanwhile, Rowett was disappointed to see former Albion defender Darren Moore get the sack from Blackburn Rovers.
The 38-year-old was yesterday relieved of his duties as part of the sacking of manager Michael Appleton.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Darren,” said Rowett. “He’s probably the most professional player in outlook I’ve met in the game.
“It’s not nice when you know someone is a good lad like Darren.
“It’s sad to see anyone lose their job, especially after such a short period of time – I’m sure they’ve all made big compromises in their personal lives to be there.”
Moore made 42 appearances for the Brewers in all competitions after arriving on a two-year contract from Championship outfit Barnsley.