Rowett reckons Southend win is a sure sign of progress as the Brewers climb into sixth spot
GARY Rowett believes the nature of Burton Albion's midweek success at Southend United is a sign his team are making real progress in League Two.
The Brewers boss felt his side were not at their best at Roots Hall on Tuesday night but Jacques Maghoma's 90th-minute free kick gave them a 1-0 victory over a Southend side that had to play most of the game with 10 men after John Spicer was sent off.
"It was a terrific result," said Rowett. "It's nice when you play poorly and still get something from the game.
"They had a man sent off after 12 minutes and, for whatever reason, we couldn't get to grips with the situation.
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"In the end, they probably created as much as us and we were found wanting a little bit at times.
"To be fair to Southend, they were terrific – but we kept going and got the goal in the end.
"Whether we deserved it, I'm not sure.
"But it is important to get something from a game when you are playing badly. It's a sign of a side that is progressing.
"Sometimes, you need a bit of individual brilliance and Jacques Maghoma was the one to produce it on the night.
"It took great skill to get the ball up and down like that at that stage of the game, when the pressure was on.
"It turned a good trip into an even better trip and the pizza certainly tasted that bit sweeter on the journey home."
The victory has lifted Burton up to sixth in the table – inside the play-off places – and extended their unbeaten League run to six matches.
Rowett is still aiming higher, though he recognises the recent success comes with potential pitfalls.
"We're six unbeaten in the League and that's not including two cup ties, in which we were unbeaten over 90 minutes," said the manager.
"So we are starting to show a bit more resilience and consistency in our performance levels.
"But all that means is that we are there to be knocked down even harder.
"As a result, we've got to make sure we keep that hunger, energy and quality in our play.
"I don't think League position is that crucial at the moment. What's most important is that we keep picking up points and playing the right way.
"But we will look ahead of us and see if we can sneak into the top three places as well. We want to keep improving."
Morecambe, managed by Jim Bentley, are six points behind Burton in 17th place.
They picked up their first home win of the season on Tuesday, beating Chesterfield 2-0 at the Globe Arena.
"It was their first home win for a while, which is important for them," said Rowett.
"But they've had some terrific results since Jim came in and he has done an excellent job.
"They are a work in progress, a bit like us.
"Tuesday's result will make them even more difficult opponents."