Manager Gary Rowett tells his Burton Albion side to take defeat on the chin and move on
GARY Rowett will tell his Burton Albion players to forget a dismal display away to Bristol Rovers and move on in their League Two promotion quest.
The Brewers' seven-match unbeaten run was ended by a 3-0 defeat at the Memorial Stadium on a day when none of the teams who started in the top five managed a victory.
"It's gone and we take it on the chin. We write it off and we go on," said Rowett.
"You're getting into the stage of the season where it gets a little bit nervy and people start doing what they don't normally do.
"But you know what, that's one game in eight we haven't been at the races. I'll be a happy man if I can say that after the next eight games.
"The key is that the players have to keep their focus and keep believing in doing what we've been doing. There's still just under a quarter of the season left.
"No-one up there is going to win their last 10 games. If you win five or six of them, you'll be doing OK."
Much of the discussion before and after the game centred around Rowett's decision to keep the same starting line-up for a fourth successive game, despite the availability of captain Zander Diamond after suspension and a late fitness test for winger Jacques Maghoma.
"I had sensed, you sometimes get a bit of a feeling, that we weren't quite going to have the same tempo," said Rowett.
"It's very difficult, when you've been winning games – if you change it and lose, you've done the wrong thing, so I gave them the opportunity to keep it going.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing and, after 10 or 15 minutes, we could have been 3-0 down.
"We just didn't show the same energy levels and intensity that we've seen for the last seven performances.
"I don't think it was a gamble (to play Maghoma).
"He said he thought he'd be fine. He just wants to play. You could see he didn't have the same spark and, with hindsight, maybe I could've left him out.
"But you'd be a brave man at the moment to leave Jacques out if he thinks he's fit."
Rowett also acknowledged the determination that Bristol Rovers had shown, as they continue to pull away from the relegation zone under new manager John Ward.
"Anything that could go Bristol's way did do, much like the last time here," said Rowett.
"But that's what can happen if you put enough pressure on the opposition, put enough balls in the box and run hard enough. Often, you'll get something from it.
"You have to give Bristol some credit. They've improved and they're playing a bit.
"They played with a bit more desire than us, put better balls into the box and did what we've done to teams in the last few games. They'll take some points off some of the other top sides before the end of the season."