BILLY Kee could be given another chance tonight to prove he can recapture his goalscoring form for Burton Albion.
After a sparkling start to his Albion career, the 21-year-old striker has had a miserable 2012 in which he has been dogged by injury and loss of form.
Kee has struggled to hold down a regular place in Gary Rowett’s starting line-up — and he has been taken off in his last two appearances after failing to add to his modest return of just three goals since the turn of the year.
However, Rowett is likely to keep faith with the Northern Ireland under-21 international in tonight’s League Two encounter with Plymouth Argyle at Home Park, kick-off 7.45pm, despite admitting to concerns about the player’s struggles.
The Brewers boss said: “I’m just hoping it’s a confidence issue with Billy.
“I’m not seeing too much from him at the moment in terms of what he is contributing, but it might be the time to persevere with him.
“We have to play a certain way with Billy in the side and it can take something away from the team when he is not scoring.”
Kee had a stunning impact after joining the Brewers from Torquay United in a £20,000 deal in August of last year.
He scored 12 times in 13 starts and looked destined to top the club’s scoring chart for the season.
But by the time he scored the last of those goals in a 2-2 draw at Morecambe on New Year’s Eve, Kee was already feeling the effects of a groin problem and made only one more full appearance before undergoing surgery.
The former Leicester City trainee started the first four games of this season but has been in and out of the side since, with a spell away from the club on international duty not helping his cause.
Rowett said: “We’re trying to find a way through it for Billy because we’ve seen in the past what a major asset he can be.
“It might be a lucky goal or something that like that which will help him to turn the corner.”
Rowett could recall winger Cleveland Taylor after giving loan signing Jordan Chapell a run out in Sunday’s 3-3 FA Cup thriller against non-league Altrincham, but he has ruled out a return to the squad for club skipper John McGrath.
The Irishman, who has been out for almost nine months after a serious foot injury, had his first outing of the season in the reserves last week and has subsequently done well in training.
However, Rowett has decided to err on the side of caution with McGrath likely to be needed at some point during a run of five games in 13 days.
On-loan goalkeeper Mark Oxley has been given the all clear after picking up a thumb injury against Alty.
The Brewers will travel to Devon this morning and then face the prospect of arriving back in Burton at 3am tomorrow.
A philosophic Rowett said: “It’s not ideal but we just have to get on with it.”
He is hoping the Brewers can make it happy return to one of his former clubs for assistant manager Kevin Summerfield.
“It’s always nice to go back to one of your old clubs and get a win — and it would be great if we can do that for Kevin,” he said.