Diamond day off but Rowett thinks Stanton and Holness can rise to task
ZANDER Diamond's name will be missing from a Burton Albion team-sheet tomorrow for the first time this season – except for when he was rested for the Johnstone Paint Trophy tie at Coventry City.
Diamond received a controversial straight red card when he conceded a penalty at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday and will serve a one-match ban tomorrow.
Had he been yellow-carded for the push on Wycombe's Matt McClure, he would still miss out tomorrow, as that would have been his fifth booking.
But the tall Scotsman has been a revelation for the Brewers this season and, if things continue as they have been so far, he will run away with the club's player of the season award.
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Burton have not seen a centre-half dominate so efficiently since Jake Buxton earned himself a move to Derby County in the Conference promotion season.
Diamond has also taken over the team captaincy and proved to be a threat in attack, scoring four goals so far.
But while he acknowledges how important Diamond has become to the Brewers' cause, manager Gary Rowett is confident that the partnership of Marcus Holness and Nathan Stanton can cope with Crewe Alexandra tomorrow.
The pair were team-mates at Rochdale but tomorrow will be the first time they have started as the central-defensive pairing at Burton this season.
"Zander has got better and better as the season has gone on," said Rowett.
"He's been a massive signing and we worked hard to get him because we knew what he could do for us.
"So, yes, he will be a big miss tomorrow and it'll be a big challenge for the others to cope without him, a big challenge for Marcus and Nathan to play together.
"It will be good to get Marcus back in the side. He's been unlucky with a couple of niggles and a suspension.
"Crewe don't really play with a central target man and it might suit Marcus and Nathan to be coping with movement and pace.
"They're experienced players, though and I'm looking forward to seeing them play together."