Q&A With Burton Albion

  • August 11, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/2e100

Tony Bentley, match summariser for BBC Radio Derby, answers our questions ahead of the very first meeting between Bolton and Burton Albion.

Wanderers go into Tuesday's game at Macron Stadium on the back of a goalless draw against Derby County on Saturday, while the Brewers were 2-1 winners over Scunthorpe United in their first outing at League One level.

In our latest edition of Q&A, Tony (@BrewersTony) shares his views on Burton's progression over the last decade, why the club can continue to defy the odds and aim for another promotion, as well as which quartet of players he will be looking out for come Tuesday evening.

Q: After joining the Football League for the first time in 2009, Burton Albion's rise has continued and they will spend this season in League One. After victory over Scunthorpe United on the opening day, what are your ambitions for the season ahead?

A: I think the Brewers will relish the opportunity to try and mix it with the 'big boys' in League One.

When Burton got promoted to the Football League in 2009, they literally scraped promotion after almost blowing a 19-point lead. The promotion to League One was a completely different matter, as they averaged over two points per-game to win the division with 94 points.

The squad has plenty of players with League One or above experience and has been complemented with a lot of younger and hungry recruits this summer. Burton won't be overawed by their opponents this season and may surprise a few of the so-called bigger teams.

I believe that Albion will emulate recent promoted sides such as Rochdale and Chesterfield, who both comfortably made the transition to the higher division. I'm hopeful of a top-10 finish come next May.

Q: Nigel Clough and Gary Rowett are just two managers to have progressed from Albion in recent years. Jimmy Floyd Haaselbaink is the latest man to grace the hotseat. We all remember his quality as a player, but what sort of style does he have in the dugout and do you back him to be a success in the long-term?

A: I have no doubt that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will go on to manage at a much higher level in the future. Burton have a reputation of giving managers a chance and Jimmy was a surprise appointment to many when appointed last November.

He inherited a good squad from Gary Rowett but, with a bit of fine tuning, turned Burton into a highly efficient unit that eventually won the League 2 title by five points. He has made Burton one of the hardest working sides I have seen and with it one of the fittest squads. This summer was his first pre-season as a boss and the players have said it is probably the hardest they have ever been worked.

He is not a shouting sort of manager but manages to get his points across to the players in a calm but authoritative manner.

Q: Lucas Akins was the club's top goalscorer last season, although his return of 10 seems surprisingly short for a side that won the League Two title. Has Haaselbaink done anything to address this over the summer and, if so, who do you expect to be your biggest threat to Bolton on Tuesday night?

A: Burton aren't your archetypal side with one or two main goalscorers. As you say, Lucas Akins was their top scorer in the league with just nine goals. However, the side were the division's highest scorers with 67 goals. That is because they had 21 different scorers!

The two full backs - Phil Edwards and Damien McCrory contributed 11 league goals. Stuart Beavon is probably the best all-round striker I have seen in 32 years of watching the Brewers, but there is so much more to his game than just scoring goals.

With Burton's strongest ever squad, I'm not sure what changes Albion will make for this tie. Therefore I quite fancy new signing Timmy Thiele to get a start and he could be a good shout for getting on the scoresheet.

Q: Neil Lennon's side were unfortunate not to beat Derby County on Saturday, somewhat making a mockery of the Rams' pre-season tag as Championship title contenders. With that said, is there anybody in the Bolton squad that you expect to be a threat in our League Cup tie?

A: Listening to my Radio Derby colleagues after your game on Saturday, it sounded like Gary Madine was quite a handful for the Rams. I also remember seeing Zach Clough score some outstanding goals last season, so he will be another player I shall be looking out for.

We came up against Liam Feeney back in 2008/09 when he was still a Salisbury City player and also Neil Danns, who was in the Leicester City side back in 2012 when the Brewers were deserved 2-4 winners at the King Power Stadium.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Tuesday's game?

A: Burton have a good record against higher league teams in this competition and the result could depend upon how seriously Neil Lennon takes it with his team selection.

It is Jimmy Floyd Hassebaink's first cup tie as a manager and he'll be taking the competition seriously. Therefore, I'm going for a 1-1 draw, with Burton to win on penalties!

Burnden Aces would like to thank Tony for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @BrewersTony.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
6 Cambridge United 3 6
7 Derby County 3 6
8 Bolton Wanderers 3 5
9 Portsmouth 3 5
10 Accrington Stanley 3 5
View Full Standings >>


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