ZANDER Diamond thinks Burton Albion are not a million miles away from sorting out their under-par away form.
The Brewers skipper was disappointed with the 1-0 defeat at Northampton Town on Saturday but thinks a new-found solidity could be coming on the road.
“It’s not been good away,” said the 27-year-old.
“We’ve conceded a lot of goals and I think with the gaffer changing the shape we were more solid.
“If we keep our home form going, pick up points away from home and try to get some wins too, we aren’t going to be too far away from where we want to be.”
Diamond and fellow centre-half Nathan Stanton, as well as Aaron Webster in a defensive midfield role, received a searching examination from Northampton strike duo Adebayo Akinfenwa and Clive Platt.
They came through well until a soft goal gifted to Akinfenwa saw the Cobblers take the points.
“I think if you look at the game straight from the off, Northampton knew their game plan - high balls into the box - and it was how we were going to deal with them,” said the former Scotland under-21 international.
“We repelled them really well from long throws and corners and a header from 18 yards (did us) and I’m disappointed with that.
“But overall it was a good away performance.
“It was more solid (than in previous away games) and they’re a big, physical team. Not a lot of teams are going to come here and get something - they’re a good team.
“You could see from the formation that the gaffer started with Aaron Webster in there and I thought we did well, considering we have been conceding goals away from home in the weeks we have been away.
“So we were disappointed as we should have got something out of the game, but that’s life.”
It was not only the big strike duo which gave Albion cause for concern, but all of Northampton’s physical outfit.
“They’ve got big centre-backs and the boy Platt (Clive) as well as (Adebayo) Akinfenwa, but that’s what it’s like in this league,” said Diamond, who has now made 32 appearances for the Brewers, scoring three times.
“You’ve got to roll your sleeves up and come to places like this and deal with it.
“I thought we dealt with it relatively well and one header from 18 yards has done us.”
Diamond, who began his career with Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier Division, thinks Albion could have made more of several promising situations at Sixfields.
They had some good forays forward but were let down by the final ball into the box.
“We got some good goalscoring chances,” said the Scotsman.
“We said at half-time if we got the ball wide with Adam (Drury) and Mags (Jacques Maghoma) we could cause them problems.
“We did that a few times but we just didn’t get the final product.
“That’ll come though, we know we can score goals.
“We’re disappointed with the final result but on to the next game at home.”
Looking ahead, Diamond is glad to be getting back to the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday for the visit of Barnet for a clash which gives Burton the chance of avenging a 3-2 defeat at Underhill just before Christmas.
When asked if the Bees are something of a bogey team for the Brewers, Diamond rejected the theory.
“I wouldn’t say they’re a bogey team,” he said. “We were in control of the game down there, they got a dubious goal and kicked on from that.
“If we play to our strengths at home, do what we can do, we can beat any team and hopefully we’ll win the game.”
Diamond is expected to have a new partner at centre-half come Saturday after the signing of Ian Sharps.
The 32-year-old is considered one of the best defenders in League Two and will be on loan at the Pirelli Stadium for the rest of the season.
Diamond admits he did know much about the big stopper until recently, but is keen to forge a parnership with Sharps which can act as a base for the Brewers reaching the League Two play-offs.
“I didn’t know an awful lot about him (until recently),” he said. “We played them on the first day of the season and I’ve read about him.
“It’s great the manager’s managed to get him to get that experience in there to help the younger lads as well, because we need one or two more experienced boys in there.
“He’ll add a bit of steel in there, which will help.”
Brewers boss Gary Rowett is also excited at the arrival of Sharps.
“I think he’s a very good signing,” he said, “He’ll give us a bit more strength again. He’s another body and I think he’s a very good player.
“What we’re going to need between now and the end of the season is players who’ve been there and done it.
“And that’s why we’ve brought him in.”