sport

Rowett happy to be underdog

Burton boss Gary Rowett is happy for his side to be labelled underdogs going into the Sky Bet League Two play-off final.

The Brewers face Fleetwood at Wembley on Monday in what will be the biggest game in both clubs' history.

There has been little to split them on the field this season, despite Town's superior financial clout. Each team won a league meeting apiece as Fleetwood finished fourth in the table, four points ahead of Rowett's men.

Meanwhile, Burton edged a second round FA Cup replay between the sides following a draw in the initial clash.

However, Fleetwood are considered the favourites ahead of the match but Rowett insists he and his players are used to the tag.

"It's nice for us to just be on the odds, isn't it?" said Rowett. "I think on the betting sites before the semi-finals there were only three teams who were considered to be in the running for promotion. Our name wasn't even on there - one of our staff mentioned that.

"I think on one other play-off show they talked about the League Two play-off final between Fleetwood and Southend this weekend. So we seem to be getting overlooked slightly, which I don't think is a massive issue for us.

"We've been the little club all along in this competition and we have used that to try and galvanise the players.

"I think the fact that you look at Fleetwood as big spender this year - we as staff certainly had them down as one of the favourites to go up automatically - so again if we are the underdogs then we are quite happy with that tag."

Rowett admits that last year's defeat in the play-offs has been the driving force behind this season's promotion push.

Burton lost 5-4 on aggregate to Bradford in the semi-finals 12 months ago, despite winning the first game 3-2 at Valley Parade.

Last weekend the Brewers went one step further and reached the final at Wembley after drawing 2-2 away at Southend, having beaten the Shrimpers 1-0 in the home leg at the Pirelli Stadium.

"I think that was the key," said Rowett. "I don't want it to sound like we're just happy getting to Wembley because that certainly isn't the case. But that was our first step, to try and improve on last season.

"That meant to not fall at the semi-final hurdle because I felt that psychologically that would be very difficult again for the club and the players to take.

"So it was important that we made it through to Wembley and now we can focus on what is a great opportunity.

"It's not going to be a 'great day' or a 'great occasion'. It will be for the fans and for the chairman and all the directors and all the families.

"But for me and the players it's a great opportunity and I think it's really important we embrace that and I think the work we have done over the past few week puts us in a really great position to put in a good performance when it matters."