On a night where Billy Brewer made his return to the terraces, Burton Albion returned to winning ways with a 4-0 victory over Accrington Stanley. The Brewers had lost 4 league games in a row and were looking nervously at the relegation places but two doubles from Jonny Smith and Daniel Jebbison propelled Burton back into the top half. We look at how a brilliant performance got Burton Albion back on track.
Burton Albion Back On Track With Big Win
Terry Taylor Key In Getting Burton Albion Back On Track
20-year old Terry Taylor was making just his fourth league start of the season but you’d be forgiven for thinking he was an experienced veteran as he controlled the Burton midfield. His movement was brilliant, always giving his teammates an option and his positioning was top-class too as he broke up several Accrington counter attacks. Taylor showed flashes of his potential after joining in January last year but fitness issues and international absences have stopped him kicking on as much as he’d of liked this year. Now with Jacob Maddox and Deji Oshiaja set to miss games through injury and suspension, Taylor has a chance to nail down a first-team place.
Same Formation Different System
Manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink stuck to a five at the back formation against Accrington even if when the teams were announced it looked like The Brewers would be playing a 4-4-2. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson moved back into the back three, while Lucas Akins and Tom Hamer played as very advanced wing-backs. This allowed the front three to play much narrower and press with more support behind them. The better press paid off when Jonny Smith and Daniel Jebbison both took advantage of bad Accrington passes for Burton’s third and fourth goals. Even when Omari Patrick and Charlie Lakin were introduced, Burton still looked just as threatening going forward. Playing attacking-minded players all over the park didn’t leave Burton open at the back either so it will be interesting to see Hasselbaink try this system against better opposition.
Struggling Attack Finds Form
Scoring just one goal in four league games just wasn’t good enough for an attack with Burton’s quality but they made up for it with an impressive attacking display to get Burton Albion back on track. Smith and Jebbison got the goals but Kane Hemmings was just as good with two assists. The attack never stopped running and got a reward through two Accrington mistakes. With Jebbison taking up the only striking spot in a front three, Hemmings was forced to play from the left-wing. He did so admirably, showing more energy than he has all season. He also eagerly got back and helped defend, stopping a very promising Accrington attack in the first half. Hasselbaink has struggled to get both his strikers firing so far this season but with Jebbison and Hemmings both looking excellent against Accrington, has Hasselbaink finally found the right formula?
Home-Grown Rule Becoming An Issue For Burton
A slightly less obvious talking point from an otherwise brilliant night was the appearance of academy goalkeeper Callum Hawkins on the Burton bench. It’s an EFL rule that every matchday squad must contain at least one homegrown player. With the likes of Joe Sbarra, Ben Fox, Reece Hutchinson all leaving the Pirelli Stadium, Burton has very little homegrown talent to rely on. John Brayford would usually be the homegrown player but he’s been injured for a number of weeks now. Previously used Ciaran Gilligan has only appeared on the bench so The Brewers can pass this rule. With Gilligan presumably unavailable against Accrington, Hawkins had to be recalled from his loan at Mickleover so Burton could comply with the rule. This meant substitute goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe had no place in the matchday squad and if Ben Garratt got injured who knows how Hawkins would’ve fared. With Burton’s youth side possessing some very promising young players including Callum Niven it won’t be long before this problem is solved but Burton is scrambling for solutions right now.
Substitutes Continue To Give Hasselbaink Selection Headache
Burton Albion has the deepest and most talented squad in recent memory. Early injury problems saw The Brewers go over the maximum squad limit. This means the previously injured Keiran Wallace and the recovering Sam Hughes cannot be registered until January. Despite having numerous injuries and suspensions to deal with Burton still named a strong bench and Harry Chapman, who scored 7 goals from 16 starts in League One last season, didn’t even get on the pitch.
Omari Patrick looked promising at times but the game looked too fast for him and he clearly needs more minutes. He like a number of current squad players is unlikely to find them at Burton with the current squad congestion. This means Burton should be expecting a winter sale in January. Keiran O’Hara (currently on an emergency loan at Scunthorpe United), Danny Rowe, Aaron Amadi Holloway, Omari Patrick, and Frazer Blake-Tracy may all depart to free up space on the wage budget. Meanwhile, Charlie Lakin looked very impressive from the bench and will look to give Hasselbaink a selection headache as he fights for his place in the starting line-up.
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