The Opposition View: Burton Albion
Brewers fan Dave Bott answers some questions ahead of Saturday's trip to the Breweries.
How do you assess the start to Burton's season?
Better than expected. The overwhelming feeling amongst Brewers supporters was that we were going to struggle from the off after losing Calvin Zola and Jacques Maghoma and a terrible pre season (we only won one game and scored two goals in five games) didn't help that.
A very creditable draw at Cheltenham (always a bogey ground) was followed by a cup win at Bramall Lane and a nice little run in the league. We've lost the last two but there's no real concern just yet. We're still in the "bedding in" period.
Who are the players that have impressed you so far this campaign?
Chris Hussey. A left back signed on a free from AFC Wimbledon. Rowett has played him on the left wing and he's been immense. He destroyed Fulham's first choice right back in our league cup tie, set both of our goals up in that game and has also weighed in with 3 goals himself.
Another is a lad called Matty Palmer. A central midfielder who came through our youth ranks after being released by Derby. He's impressed every time he's played and held his own against the likes of Scott Parker and Giorgos Karagounis in the Fulham game. Definitely one to watch.
Rory Delap is bound to get plenty of stick from Pompey fans for his Southampton ties. How do Burton fans rate him and does he still use that long throw of his?
He's been fantastic so far and he's already a big hit. He's been prefered at right back but has also played one or two games in front of the back four. Wherever he's played he's looked a class apart. He does still use the long throw but (thankfully) we're not reliant on it!
Adam Reed spent a short time on loan at Pompey last season but never really impressed. What do Brewers fans think of him?
He's divided opinion. Some think he's a good prospect who has shown flashes of quality, others think he's just one midfielder too many and isn't good enough. Rowett rates him because he's started the last three games and to be fair he scored our 97th minute winner at Accy. Personally I think we've got better players at the club in his position.
What do you make of the Portsmouth squad and which players will you be wary of come Saturday?
I'm wary of players such as Devera, Ferry and Holmes because they've caused us problems in the past. Agyemang seems to have started the season off with a flourish but David Connolly was the player I was fearing the most. It's half a sigh of relief and half disappointment that he's suspended because I wanted to see how we did against a player who has scored goals wherever he's played. As for your squad...I think if your more experienced players stay fit (and suspension free) you'll get in the play-offs minimum. It looks like you've got a decent mix of youth and experience.
Burton is well known for its breweries so which are the best pubs to visit before the match?
If you're coming by train then make a right as you come out the station, go down the bridge and you'll come to the Roebuck. A bit further along you'll find the Devonshire and a very, VERY small pub called the Coopers Tavern around the corner. As far as I know all three do locally brewed beers and guest ales. Further afield you've got the usual chain pubs in the town centre including a cheap Wetherspoons called the Lord Burton. Near the ground you've got the Beech (up Derby Road towards the A38) and the Great Northern (across the bridge opposite the ground).
If you're feeling really adventurous and get here early, at the other end of Wetmore Road to the Great Northern, there's a small pub called the Burton Bridge which is another cracking little pub that brews it's own ales. If you decide to go straight to the ground from the station then there's a couple of local pubs on the 25 minute (ish) walk to the Pirelli.
What kind of match should we be expecting? Do Burton like to get the ball down and play or is their style more direct?
We do try and mix it but with two big men up front there's always the temptation to play hoof ball. We've played better this season (in my opinion) with one up front because it forces us to play football but we do descend into route 1 quite a bit with Rene Howe and Michael Symes up top. I'm not expecting a particularly open game on Saturday because Rowett will want to arrest this mini slump we're in and he'll try and make us as tough to break down as possible. Roughly translated...it ain't gonna be pretty!
Predict the outcome of the game.
1-0 either way.
Source: Fratton Faithful
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