Rowett will go with 'horses for courses' outlook as he seeks to keep up Burton bid
BURTON Albion look certain to change a winning side again tomorrow – but manager Gary Rowett is convinced that "horses for courses" is the way to go as the Brewers seek to maintain their promotion challenge.
Burton are away to Northampton Town – weather permitting – and Rowett says they will face a notably different test to the one presented by Torquay United last week.
The Cobblers make great play of long throws from defender Ben Tozer and are also effective from other set-pieces.
Looking at that, Rowett thinks he may opt for a bit more height in his own side, which could mean a return for either Aaron Webster or Marcus Holness – or, for that matter, fit-again goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson.
"There are a lot of physical sides in League Two – that's the nature of the divsion," said Rowett.
"But there are one or two who are that bit bigger than the others and Northampton are one of them, so this will be another big test for us but a very different one to last week.
"I think they have scored about half of their goals from set-pieces – and we have got to deal with that.
"Tozer can put it into our box with a throw from either side, anywhere in our half."
That certainly happened in the first game between the sides, a 3-3 draw at the Pirelli Stadium in September.
Burton were 2-0 up before the Cobblers scored as a result of two free kicks, equalising again after Burton had made it 3-2.
Explaining his theory further, Rowett said: "I could almost pick a completely different team every week to combat what we will come up against from different opponents.
"I would love to have a team that was so flexible that they could change formation without me changing personnel – but we don't have that.
"We've tried it. We've won and I've not changed the team – and then we've lost.
"So I'd rather do something about it to try to win a game, even if it means disappointing one or two of the players."
Rowett's theory also means Burton are likely to go with one up front again tomorrow but, just as last week, there is a doubt over leading scorer Calvin Zola, who, for the second week running, has not been able to train with a groin problem, although he was on target again against Torquay, with his 12th goal of the season.
Midfielders Jacques Maghoma and Lee Bell, who limped off with a sore knee against Torquay, have also not trained and the manager is concerned.
"For two or three weeks, you can get away with players being nursed through from one game to the next but you can't keep going on like that," said Rowett.
"It will be a late decision with all three of them."
Meanwhile, it has been a quiet week in the transfer window for Rowett, who maintains that there has been no serious interest in any of his players, despite a myriad of rumours.
It seems ludicrous that Cardiff City were being linked with Zola – good as he is in League Two, the Congolese striker is hardly likely to interest a club targeting the Premier League – but the rumour that relatively wealthy Rotherham United might be interested sounds more feasible.
"I can say I have had no contact from Rotherham about Calvin but most managers will have had 20 inquiries about 20 different players this week," added Rowett.