Burton Albion F.C. - Building the Brewers

footy1

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Sep 23, 2012
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Burton Albion F.C.

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In the seventh tier of English football as recently as 2002, it has been a remarkable rise from Burton Albion in recent years. A sharp rise in fortunes has seen the Brewers climb the English football pyramid, with back-to-back promotions for the club sealing a season in the championship for the first time in its history.

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I am the man tasked with maintaining the club's upwards momentum. The club has the potential to rise even further, with state-of-the-art facilities at St.George's Park meaning our players have the perfect environment to improve in. The finances of the club are not competitive at this level however, so we will have to rely on free agents and the loan market to compete initially.

Squad

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We have a decent squad, but nothing which will pull up too many trees as it is. I am concerned by the lack of talent in the squad, which is something we will have to address over time, but for now we will have to rely on established stars such as Ben Turner, Lloyd Dyer and Chris O'Grady.

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Ben will be an important influence at the heart of our defence, having gathered plenty of experience at this level and even in the Premier League with Cardiff.

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Lloyd is a very experienced winger, who most recently has been an important member of Leicester's team as they won the championship with 102 points. He has the quality to win games for us in the forthcoming season.

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Chris, on loan from Brighton, is our best forward and will be tasked with firing in the goals to keep us in the division.

 

footy1

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Sep 23, 2012
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Transfers

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As soon as I got in the door I requested we looked for a senior affiliate, which we found in Man City. We will get quality youngsters on loan from them for free, a great agreement for us with our limited finances.

In

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Six players join in total, with us having to utilise loans due to a lack in financial firepower.

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Our only permanent signing is experienced midfielder Kevin Nolan on a free, on a 12-month deal. The former Newcastle and West Ham midfielder adds more experience to the squad and much needed quality in midfield.

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A talented attacking midfielder, Fredriksen joins until the end of the year and adds depth on the wing. We could also look to add him on a permanent basis in January if he performs well.

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Austrian inside forward Bytyqi signs from Man City as part of our new agreement with the citizens. He is a great talent and will be a starter on the right wing this year, hopefully providing plenty of assists and goals. Left back Angelino also signs from City but will be more of a backup player.

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Advanced playmaker Brannagan joins from Liverpool on another free loan. He should rotate as our playmaker this season and has the potential to become a regular before the end of the year.

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Finally, Gallagher joins from Southampton for the season to provide competition for O'Grady as our lone striker.

Out

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No major outs apart from youngsters Delaney and Harness going out on loans for the season.

Pre-Season

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5 games in a short pre-season awaited us. It was a mixed bag really, with expected wins against Northampton and Stourbridge and a disappointing loss against Peterbrough among the results. An improvement is needed if we are to hold our own in the championship.​
 

footy1

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August 2015

8th August - Sky Bet Championship

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A reasonable way to start the season with an away draw at Ipswich. After a pulsating opening 5 minutes where Bytyqi opened the scoring and Ipswich hit back through Murphy. Before half time we were trailing but in the closing minutes O'Grady scored an equalizer on his debut to give us a point.

11th August - Capital One Cup 1st Round

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A comfortable 4-0 win over Doncaster sees us through to the second round of the capital one cup, with a fast start seeing two own goals and Dyer scoring in the first 20 minutes. Choudhury completed the rout in the closing minutes.

15th August - Sky Bet Championship

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Our first home league fixture ends in a creditable goalless draw with playoff-tipped Sheffield Wednesday. We managed to dominate this one for long periods but could not capitalise, so had to settle for a draw which is by no means a bad result.

18th August - Sky Bet Championship

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A double from Lloyd Dyer with a goal in each half gave us a great away win at the Madejski against Reading, stretching our unbeaten run to four games, continuing my good start to life at Burton.

22nd August - Sky Bet Championship

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We were then brought crashing back down to earth with a strong Aston Villa side comfortably beating us 3-1. They dominated early on and raced into an early 3-0 lead, killing the game in the first half. O'Grady grabbed a consolation late on but it was a first defeat in my tenure.

25th August - Capital One Cup Second Round

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We are knocked out of the capital one cup by Brentford in the second round, with a second-string team put out due to fixture congestion. It was a shame to go out but success was never on the cards so it will be good to have no distractions from the league until January and the FA cup.

29th August - Sky Bet Championship

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We get our revenge in a repeat fixture just four days later. Lloyd Dyer opened the scoring in the first half before doubling the lead with just 20 minutes left. Irvine scored a third to confirm our win before Brentford grabbed a late consolation. A 3-1 win means we end a busy month with three points.

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An impressive month overall, with the highlights being our league wins at Reading and Brentford to get our Championship season off to a successful start away from the foot of the table.

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After 5 games we sit 9th which is a strong start considering we are one of the favourites to go down. I doubt we can remain in this position for too long though and for now we keep on looking downwards in the table rather than up.​
 
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footy1

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September 2015

12th September - Sky Bet Championship

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A great way to start the month with two second half goals giving us a fantastic win at Elland Road. Dyer continued his scoring form from the left flank while Cameron Brannagan's 25 yarder made sure of the 3 points.

15th September - Sky Bet Championship

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From victory to disappointment as Brighton ****** victory from us in the closing minutes at the Pirelli. In all honesty Brighton had more of the play but it looked like we would hold on until Olic tapped in at the back post to win it.

19th September - Sky Bet Championship

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We travel to Yorkshire for the second time in the month but this time there is no win, with a second consecutive defeat. Maynard got the first-half winner, consigning us to another single-goal loss.

26th September - Sky Bet Championship

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Blackburn sit rooted to the bottom of the table so going into this game we hoped for a win. However once McFadzean was sent off for a reckless challenge it was an uphill battle. We took the lead through Bytyqi but Blackburn replied almost immediately so we had to settle for a draw.

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4 points from 4 games is an okay return for us at this stage, keeping us away from the bottom half of the table.

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We drop one place to 10th but that is still a strong position for us. As mentioned I would be happy with mid-table so as long as we continue to accumulate points that should be possible.​
 

footy1

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October 2015

29th September - Sky Bet Championship

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A trip to Bristol was next up. We held our own until Nolan was sent off, after which we were camped in our own half. The pressure told when Freeman scored with 10 minutes left, and things got even worse when we reduced to 9 men with Edwards also sent off. Agard rounded off a disappointing loss for us in stoppage time.

3rd October - Sky Bet Championship

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Massive promotion favourites Newcastle were next to visit the Pirelli. We raced into an early lead through O'Grady, and for long periods it looked like we would claim a famous win. However, unfortunately Sissoko grabbed a late equalizer against the run of play to grab them a point.

17th October - Sky Bet Championship

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Next up was a visit to Cardiff on a quest to end our 5 match run without a win. Unfortunately though we struggled and when Martin rifled in midway through the second half it seemed almost inevitable we would slip to another away defeat.

20th October - Sky Bet Championship

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Another game, another loss. This run is sending us towards relegation territory fast. A resounding win for Norwich at the Pirelli with Hoolahan and Naismith providing the goals and running the show.

24th October - Sky Bet Championship

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Finally we manage a win as we visited Oakwell to face fellow promotees Barnsley. Two first-half goals from wingmen Bytyqi and Dyer put us in a strong position, and although Barnsley hit back and threatened in the second half we held out for a well-fought 2-1 win.

31st October - Sky Bet Championship

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Local Midlands rivals Derby were up next, a massive fixture for the fans. In a pulsating game we took the lead twice through Bytyqi and Nolan but a hat-trick from Akpom eventually handed them the bragging rights. It was doubly disappointing as Derby are in the relegation zone and a win would have really put daylight between the two teams.

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A month and a bit of little success really 4 points from 6 games is relegation form and we need to pick up our results soon. Thankfully our good start has given us a cushion and the Barnsley win lifts us a little bit as well.

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We drop 8 places to 18th after a poor month, but still have a 4 point gap to the drop zone for now. As always in the championship everything is very close so we must try and find some form again.​
 

naterr

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Looking good so far!

I had just been thinking about what team to do my long save on next year and Burton was my choice, so I will be following this!
 

footy1

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Sep 23, 2012
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November 2015

3rd November - Sky Bet Championship

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A creditable away draw against Birmingham who have started well under former Burton man Gary Rowett and sit 5th in the playoff positions. We didn't look like scoring, with frontman O'Grady looking wayward, but at least our defence looked solid and ensured a shutout.

7th November - Sky Bet Championship

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The good defensive form continues as we keep out QPR at the Pirelli. What's more, O'Grady managed to head in within the first minute to give us a vital 1-0 victory. Not even Irvine's second-half sending off could prevent us from claiming all 3 points.

21st November - Sky Bet Championship

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Our fourth trip to Yorkshire this season heralds a third victory. After O'Grady handed us the lead at the Galpharm Huddersfield replied with in 10 minutes. From then on though we took the game by the scruff of the neck and a goal either side of half time from O'Grady from the spot and Dyer gave us another win.

28th November - Sky Bet Championship

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Our final game of the month against Preston also ends in victory. Preston got off to a fast start with Pisano taking the lead on 20 minutes but a tweak in tactics saw O'Grady equalise, before Dyer ran clear to stroke in the winner late on.

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Finally we find some form as a draw at Birmingham is followed by 3 consecutive wins to really give us a boost up the table and towards survival this season.

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A great month sees us rise into the top half, with a 6 place jump to 12th. A real positive that we are finally finding some form. Hopefully that bodes well for the rest of the season.

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The month ends well as I am rewarded with a new 2 and a half year contract.​
 
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footy1

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Sep 23, 2012
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December 2015

5th December - Sky Bet Championship

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Our winning run ends to Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest, with an early goal from Kasami being the only thing splitting the teams in a fairly even game at the City Ground.

12th December - Sky Bet Championship

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The same outcome happens on returning to the Pirelli with a Smith header enough to hand Fulham an away win, as we sink to a second loss of the month.

19th December - Sky Bet Championship

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Another loss, this time at the hands of struggling Wigan in the form of a crushing 4-0 defeat. We seemed to tire late on with all 4 goals in the final 25 minutes so obviously need reinforcements in January.

26th December - Sky Bet Championship

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In truth we played a lot better in this one but we slip to another defeat as Mason's second half winner won it. Costa had put a strong Wolves team ahead but O'Grady volleyed in a free-kick to reply to give us hope. It was not enough though to get a result.

28th December - Sky Bet Championship

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Wigan do the double over us in the space of 10 days as we fall to yet another defeat. The winter period has taken its toll and we are running out of fit players. Just 2 day breaks are just not enough for our small squad.

30th December - Sky Bet Championship

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We make it six out of six losses for December. It's good we had that early season buffer as we really needed it, with us slipping to 21st and just outside the dorp zone with this loss. O'Grady's goal was a small highlight in another depressing loss.

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A terrible month, but at least we reach the transfer window where we have signings ready to join up and provide more depth to our squad - more on them later.
 
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