By Ollie NenoDespite it being frustrating not to hold on to the one goal lead and record back-to-back victories with a win on Saturday, the disappointment felt shows the progress we’ve made since the start of the season.
After all, this is a fixture in which The Brewers came from behind to beat us 2-1 last year - after Matt Harrold had opened the scoring early on.
It may be a bit of a cliché in football, but any away game in this division will be a tough one, especially at Burton who currently sit fifth in the table and have lost just once at home so far.
Admittedly, last season's defeat at the Pirelli Stadium was under the previous manager Paul Buckle, but McGhee does now seem to have us playing with the same resilience he instilled into the side in the second half of last season.
Since the 1-1 draw with Plymouth last month, a result and performance that many considered to be a potential ‘turning point’, Rovers have gone on to lose just one match out of five, as well as picking up two wins along the way.
With captain Matt Gill struggling from a knee injury and unable to play, striker David Clarkson was deployed in the centre of midfield on the weekend and put us in the lead with a fine first time shot from outside the box.
Although it’s a position that the Scot has admitted he isn’t all too familiar with, his technical ability and game intelligence means that he appears to have easily taken to his new role.
If Gill is out for up to six weeks as expected, then Clarkson may find himself alongside Ollie Norburn in midfield for the foreseeable future.
It’s fair to say that goals from this area of the team are something that we’ve been lacking for a few years, so McGhee will be hoping that the forward will be able to chip in with a few goals from this deeper position.
That’s also something young midfielder Ollie Norburn will likely be looking to improve on after notching his first senior strike in the 3-1 win against Northampton, and coming close to grabbing his second in as many games at Burton.
However if there’s one player that our recent upturn in form can be mainly accredited to, you surely can look no further than Clarkson’s fellow countryman at the heart of the Gas defence, Garry Kenneth.
We seem to be saying it every week, but it can’t be a coincidence that Kenneth’s arrival into the side since that game at Plymouth has coincided with the turnaround, and contributed to a more solid looking Rovers team.
The personal form of his centre back partner Tom Parkes, signed from Leicester in the summer, also seems to have improved since his pairing with Kenneth, clearly benefitting from the experience of the Scotsman alongside him.
Tomorrow, Kenneth and Parkes will have the tough task of trying to keep former Gas striker Rene Howe quiet; who is joint second in the League Two scoring chart with nine goals to his name so far for Torquay.
However, if the defence can keep the Devon side out, then we have to be confident of picking up a win and building on our recent good form.
Lets get behind the boys on Saturday.