Match preview: Burton Albion v Doncaster Rovers - Counterattacking key against Clough’s men
Anyone predicting that Burton Albion might be knocked off their stride by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s departure was sorely mistaken.
Under the returning Nigel Clough, the Brewers picked up where Hasselbaink left off as they ran out 3-0 winners at Gillingham.
And it ensures Darren Ferguson will face arguably his toughest test as Rovers boss when he takes them to the Pirelli Stadium this weekend.
After emerging from the other big test at Coventry City last month, the challenge this weekend could be another one which Rovers are well suited for.
Burton dominated possession at Gillingham last weekend and Rovers are hardly likely to panic if the same thing happens this weekend.
Ferguson’s favoured wing back formation thrives on rapid counterattacking football. And Rovers will need to be at their best on the counter if they are to claim anything from their final game before Christmas.
They are likely to be presented with a 4-1-4-1 formation deployed by their hosts.
Hasselbaink occasionally used the system during his time in charge and Clough opted for it last weekend, with Stuart Beavon as the lone striker.
Abdenasser El Khayati has been the Brewers’ main source of goals, operating from an attacking midfield position.
Former Rovers winger Mark Duffy also looks to be rejuvenated by Clough’s arrival and turned in his best performance for the Brewers last weekend.
Duffy felt his chances were limited at Doncaster so he could well feel like he has a point to prove this weekend.
Albion are a high energy side who like to press. So if Rovers repeat the kind of incessant and well orchestrated closing down they displayed against Crewe, particularly in the first half, it could make for a 100mph contest.
If they can firstly contain the home side, you would not bet against Ferguson’s Rovers returning home with at least a point.
Prediction: Score draw