Relaxed Robbie reaps rewards with double salvo for Burton Albion
GARY Rowett heaped praise on two-goal Robbie Weir – saying that thinking less about scoring had actually helped the midfielder get more goals.
The Northern Ireland Under-21 international scored a spate of goals in pre-season but Saturday's two in the 3-1 win over Cheltenham Town only took him to five for the season and were his first since November.
"In recent weeks I think Robbie has come right back to his eye-catching best," said Rowett.
"What you saw today were the finishes to match the runs he makes.
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"I think he's done brilliantly all season but it's difficult when you've scored five or six in pre-season – everyone starts to judge you on your goals and maybe Robbie's felt that and wanted to get goals.
"I think now it's perhaps because he's not trying quite as hard to score and get into those positions.
"He relaxed a bit more and there were two terrific finishes which were well deserved."
Right-winger Alex MacDonald scored the other goal, celebrating the extension of his loan at the club but, overall, the game was another example of the Brewers executing Rowett's detailed game-plan almost to perfection.
"We knew that Cheltenham would pin us back and pass the ball the way they do," said the manager.
"Sometimes, the way we play, other teams are going to have the ball. That's occasionally how we've set up at home and, in recent weeks, we've probably created more chances playing that way than when we've tried to go gung-ho and play in their half.
"We've had a really good shape, been compact and strong and then got our rewards exploiting space in behind them.
"They had four midfielders across the middle of the park who don't really want to go wide, they want to come inside and forage in the holes.
"We knew it was important to block them up and I thought we blocked them up well.
"After about 10 minutes, we started to get a bit closer to people and win one or two challenges, one or two second balls. As soon as we did that, we had a little foothold in the game.
"A lot of our tactical work in the week was done on getting the balls in to the strikers and exploiting things from there.
"As soon as Billy Kee and Michael Symes started getting hold of it, keeping the ball for us, then the likes of Alex MacDonald and Jacques Maghoma could come into play."