sport

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.