GARY Rowett reckons today’s trip to York City could be Burton Albion’s hardest game of the season to date.
The Brewers visit Bootham Crescent, kick-off 3pm, with York on a run of six straight wins.
They are unbeaten in 10 in League Two and following an uncertain start to the season, have fired themselves into the play-off frame with a run of just three defeats in 22 matches.
“I think this will be the toughest of the season,” said the Albion manager. “They’ve been very, very good recently and have got real energy in the side.
“I think they’re a little bit like ourselves – they try to play at a quick tempo and get up in people’s faces.”
The Minstermen have been a surprise package since losing five of their first seven matches in League Two and looking like a season of struggle was in store.
They signed popular former Albion midfielder Russ Penn at Christmas as well as Brewers flop Adam Reed.
The duo have formed a solid central midfield partnership behind striker Wes Fletcher, who is out today after injuring a knee at Portsmouth last week.
Defender Josh Carson is also expected to be out with a similar knee injury he sustained at Fratton Park.
“They’ve got some good players,” said Rowett. “Russ Penn and Adam Reed have got lots of energy in the middle.
“It’ll be a tough game and we’ll have got be at our best to get anything out of it.”
Winger Ashley Hemmings could come in for his debut today after joining on a one-month loan deal from Walsall on Thursday.
But with Jimmy Phillips (ankle) fit and Callum McFadzean, David Gray and Alex MacDonald all vying for a start on the flanks he may have to be patient.
Robbie Weir (hamstring) should be fit, while Adam McGurk (knee) has recovered from the injury he sustained in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Wycombe.