Curse fails to strike as Gary savours seeing side return to winning ways
GARY Rowett avoided the curse of the manager of the month award as Burton Albion came from behind to beat Torquay United 2-1 but he acknowledged it was just as important for his side to put down a marker for the rest of the season.
The Brewers have slumped after Christmas, notably in the last two seasons, and are determined that it does not happen again.
However, Torquay had marginally the better of the first half and led 1-0 at half-time before goals from Calvin Zola and Matt Paterson earned the Brewers the win.
"I don't think we think too much about what happened last year but if we had lost this one, it would have been three in a row, so it was important that we bounced back," said Rowett.
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"I don't think we approached the game any different but we looked a bit leggy in the first half.
"We didn't play with the energy we'd showed against Rochdale and Southend but Torquay are a good side.
"We knew that they have tended to concede late goals so, at half-time, we just said 'keep doing the right things. You only need to get one and you'll definitely get another'.
"You're always going to have days when someone else scores before us and you have that little test. It's interesting how we respond to it."
Rowett was especially pleased that the winning goal came as the result of a substitution, Paterson having replaced Zola after 77 minutes.
"That was the first time in a while that someone has come off the bench and really changed the game," said Rowett.
"For Pato, it's a reward. He's been patient and not had the chances he's wanted but he's done all the right things and kept his head up.
"Now he's come on and you won't see a better goal than that in the country today."
Zola's equaliser, after 59 minutes, also brought praise from the manager.
"We were looking for a bit of inspiration at that stage," said Rowett.
"We knew we'd have a bit more of the ball in the second half but we needed someone to come up with a bit of brilliance.
"It was a fantastic strike from Calvin who, all game, had stood up to (the challenge) well.
"Their centre-backs were very good, very physical, but he played really well."