BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett has told his players to keep an eye on two Brewers old boys who are expected to play a part at the Pirelli Stadium today.
Shaun Harrad and Russell Penn could be in the Cheltenham Town starting line-up at 3pm today – and both will want to show what they can do against their former employer.
Penn left Albion for the Robins in the summer of 2011 after rejecting a new contract, while Harrad departed the Pirelli in January, 2011, for a lucrative deal at Northampton Town.
He has since had something of a nomadic existence, having spells at Bury, Rotherham United and now Cheltenham.
“They are always going to want to come back and do well at a club where they had a good spell,” said Rowett.
“Both of them are excellent players and contributed massively to our progress as a Football League club.
“They can both come back with pride.”
Penn, 27, has continued his solid Brewers form at Cheltenham, where he has made 90 appearances and is a mainstay of the midfield.
Meanwhile, Harrad, 28, has 10 goals in 32 appearances and is in his best form since leaving Burton.
His move to Northampton soon soured after a change of manager and he left for Bury after just eight months and six goals.
Bury soon loaned him to Rotherham and he is now on a season-long loan deal with the Robins.
“Russ was his usual busy self in the week when I saw him play against Chesterfield,” said Rowett. “Shaun didn’t feature but both will potentially be in against one of their old teams.
“As a manager you always think if someone’s got a reason to try a little bit harder they might give you a little bit more so we’ll be wary of them.”
Back at the Pirelli, winger Alex MacDonald’s loan has now been extended until the end of the season - but he will be unavailable should the club reach the League Two play-off final.
Under the rules of the emergency loan window, a player can only spend a maximum of 93 days away from their parent club and the Wembley final, should Burton reach it, will be outside of the allowed period.
ALBION club captain John McGrath has had his loan extended at York City for a further month.
The 32-year-old midfielder has made five appearances for the Minstermen and is hoping to lead them to safety in League Two after boss Gary Mills was given the sack.