When asked about the decision to give Will Miller and Joe Sbarra their first League starts of the season in Burton Albion's clash with Sunderland on Saturday, coach Andy Garner's response was straightforward.

"They made an impact at Brentford and we feel they did enough to warrant a place," he said.

"We've lost five on the trot at home. Something's got to be done, something's got to change.

"These two have come in and deserve to have a go."

And the young Brewers duo did catch the eye in a first half the hosts dominated.

Ultimately, though, their impact was not enough to prevent Albion from falling to a sixth successive home defeat.

Garner's words offer some insight into the situation Burton currently find themselves in, their worst home run in the Football League undermining a decent string of results on the road.

With consistency hard to come by, Nigel Clough and his management team are inevitably looking at options to re-energise their side's home form and their bid to push out of the relegation zone.

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It is why Miller and Sbarra played from the start on Saturday, after changing the course of last Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Brentford.

Changes in selection have been a regular thing for Burton this season – 10 changes over the last four games alone is testament to that.

Part of that is simply down to Albion having a bigger squad than they did in the Championship last season, giving Clough a greater number of options.

Nineteen games into this campaign, the Brewers have fielded 25 players in the League. The number was 22 at this stage in 2016-17.

Clough has said in recent weeks that no player, with the possible exception of goalkeeper Stephen Bywater, has shown form which makes him an immediate selection either.

Switches have been used to try different combinations, and perhaps as a way of sparking players into form.

Players like Matt Palmer, Tom Naylor and Matty Lund were all out of the team for stages but have since seized their chances when reintroduced.

That is the impact Clough will be asking for from players coming into the side.

They have not been helped by injuries either.

While there was one particular low point last season, when Clough suggested he may not be able to name a full match-day 18 for the home game against Brighton & Hove Albion, injuries seem to have bitten much more regularly this time around.

Even if you discount Liam Boyce's ruptured ACL – and he would surely have been one of the most regular names on the Albion team-sheet if he was fit – John Brayford and Joe Mason, for example, have had more than a month out each.

Jake Buxton and Lloyd Dyer were among those missing at the weekend, while Miller, Sbarra and Sean Scannell all had to come off with various problems, affecting the Brewers' flow and nullifying what had been an effective system against the Black Cats.

In a way, that summed up how things have gone so far this season.

Twelve months ago, the Brewers had settled on a formation that worked, at least until the turn of the year, when they became more flexible in their approach.

That was helped by more consistency on the teamsheet. The 3-5-2 made them difficult to play against and a threat going forward.

This time, they have needed to change things, most notably at home, to counter the way sides are undoing them at the other end.

In recent weeks, it has not quite clicked, although that has been down to a failure to take chances when on top more than the way they have approached specific games.

Until Albion can find some consistency from game to game, Clough will keep looking for combinations that can flourish, even if that means changing things further.

He did suggest at the weekend that they would look to keep playing in the manner they did during the first half of the Sunderland defeat.

Perhaps some of the players brought into the team over recent weeks will be given an extended run to implement some success on home soil.

Away from home, with Derby County on the horizon this weekend, you suspect it will continue to be about pragmatism.

That at least has been something the Brewers have found consistency in, with only one defeat from six on the road since September 9.

Whether Clough has to change his team again to be able to counter the in-form Rams will come down to yet another injury update later in the week, though.

Sometimes, the decisions are taken out of your hands.