Amid everything going on off the pitch, the team on it have now gone five games unbeaten breathing life into what had looked to be an ailing play-off bid. While this upcoming home game against Burton Albion being potentially the sixth remaining home game before another trip into the sky blue yonder further highlights the farce that is unfolding around us, a return to the actual playing of football hopefully provides some relief against everything that is playing out.
Unless there are any injuries that haven’t been disclosed by Mark Robins pre-match, the current starting line-up is unlikely to be tampered with. The only likely change seems set to be in restoring Luke Thomas to the XI after he was somewhat mysteriously dropped to the bench for last week’s win over Accrington Stanley.
With three crucial games coming up over the next week, we have a big opportunity coming up to announce ourselves as genuine play-off contenders. While the season can unfold in unexpected ways, it feels as if anything fewer than seven points from these games will give ourselves too much of a job to bridge the gap. Whether the concerns over keeping players fresh for upcoming games affects Mark Robins remains to be seen, but seems unlikely.
Given the timing of this game in a week where the off-field drama has ratched up a fair few notches, Mark Robins’ man-management skills are going to be important to ensure focus remains on maintaining the kind of form that could put us in the play-off picture. With concerns over the future state of the club, there will inevitably some players who could lose focus, however, it’s also potentially an opportunity to build something of a siege mentality.
Last Time We Met
If there was one word to describe Burton’s performance against us when we last met back in November, it would be professional. After a fairly even first-half where Burton dominated possession but the Sky Blues were a threat on the counter, the Brewers stepped it up a gear in the second-half, taking the lead via a set-piece, and comfortably seeing the game out without breaking much of a sweat. It was the first league defeat for the Sky Blues since the five-game winning run and started one of several sticky patches this season which could well be the reason our play-off bid falls short.