BURTON Albion could be without six first choice players for tomorrow’s game at Roots Hall.
Adam McGurk, Zeli Ismail and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff are racing against time to be fit for the clash against the Shrimpers, while Damien McCrory and Jimmy Phillips are both definitely out.
And, with Ian Sharps suspended after he was sent off in last week’s first leg, Brewers boss Gary Rowett has his work cut out.
“We’re certainly going to have to patch up a bit and go down there and be as competitive as we can,” said Rowett.
“You start to get past the fact there’s no Sharps, no Cansdell-Sherriff, no McCrory, no Phillips and Zeli’s obviously touch and go for being anywhere near fit.
“Suddenly, you take five or six of your best players out the team and you’ve got to work very hard to get a competitive side.
“But we’ve done that all season and we’ve done that brilliantly.”
Cansdell-Sherriff (Achilles) has not trained all week, along with McGurk (groin) who scored against the Shrimpers last weekend.
And late decisions will therefore have to be made on the duo.
“Shane’s not trained this week, so we’re going to have to make a decision late on Friday,” said Rowett.
“Adam’s the same, he’s not trained all week, so we’ll have to make a decision on it.
“It could again be we’ve got to make three or four changes, but ultimately I don’t see that necessarily as a negative.
“If you’re a player in the squad, you’re absolutely dying for a chance to play in a game that could be this big.
“Let’s face it, in some ways if you’re coming into the side you’ll be even more motivated than someone staying in the side.
“That drive and desire is always going to be in the team, regardless of who plays.”
But Rowett insists his side will not be sitting back to defend their narrow advantage.
“I don’t think we’re in a position where we can just go there and park the bus,” he said.
“We’ve got to show some ambition and after last season, in my mind if we had that opportunity again, perhaps we’d try to be more on the front foot and do what we’re good at.
“We’ve drawn first blood but we’ve got to make sure we go and finish the job – but nothing’s done yet.”