Burton Albion V Southend at Pirelli Stadium : Match Preview

10 May 2014 12:31
Burton Albion V Southend - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Momentum no issue for Rowett

Burton boss Gary Rowett believes you can rip up the form book when it comes to the play-offs.

The Brewers are preparing for their second successive League Two play-off campaign and will host Southend in the first leg of their semi-final on Sunday.

Albion finished the regular season with a 1-0 defeat to the Shrimpers last weekend, meaning they go into the tie having lost three of their last five matches. By contrast, Southend will arrive at the Pirelli Stadium with six wins from their last eight games.

However, Rowett reckons the cup-like nature of the play-offs suits his side and he points to victories over Leicester and Sheffield United in the past two seasons as reasons to be optimistic about Burton reaching the final at Wembley on May 26.

"I don't think momentum is an issue in the play-offs, it's who copes with the games the best," said Rowett.

"It's cup football and if you look at us in the last two seasons, in cup games we've been very, very good. In one-off games we've been excellent.

"We've beaten Sheffield United twice, once on penalties after a draw, and Leicester - all of them away from home. And this season we took Fulham all the way to penalties.

"You can look at Southend and say they're going to be in better form going into the games, but that means nothing. It means there's probably more pressure on you to continue that form.

"We're starting again almost and I think we'll benefit from that."

Captain Ian Sharps will return to the Burton team after the central defender was rested at Roots Hall last weekend. Billy Kee was also rested for that game, while fellow forward Adam McGurk could be back in the squad after a four-game lay-off with a groin injury.

Meanwhile, Southend boss Phil Brown is hoping his lucky pants can inspire the Shrimpers to play-off glory.

Brown's boys have lost just once in nine games while wearing his superstitious underwear and he has his fingers crossed they will continue to be a charm.

"The first time I wore them was at Bristol Rovers when I wasn't feeling very well but our results started to pick up after that so I've kept on wearing them and I will be in them again on Sunday," said Brown.

"I kept on wearing them even when we lost to AFC Wimbledon because I was still pleased with the performance and we had enough chances to win two or three games that afternoon.

"They're not really the sexiest pair of underpants you'll ever see but hopefully they can help us produce the goods this weekend and in the second leg so then I can get to wear them at Wembley as well."

Brown has no new problems and could name the same starting line-up for the fifth game in a row.

Source: PA