Rowett plays down 'favourites' tag

Burton boss Gary Rowett does not believe his side are favourites to reach the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

Last Updated: 04/05/13 at 16:33

Gary Rowett: Burton are the underdogs

Gary Rowett: Burton are the underdogs

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The Brewers put in an inspired display on Thursday to beat Bradford 3-2 in the semi-final first leg and hold the advantage ahead of Sunday's second leg at the Pirelli Stadium.

A stunning first-half showing saw Rowett's men go into the interval 3-1 up, but Garry Thompson's late strike reduced Bradford's deficit and left it all to play for.

And Rowett is not getting carried away, despite his side harbouring the best home record in the Football League in the regular season, with 17 wins out of 23 games.

"It's going to be a great game, one goal can swing it again," said Rowett.

"I've been here before. You can sense you have a chance and if you do that it comes up and smacks you on the backside.

"What's important is that we go out there and put a thoroughly professional performance in and give ourselves a chance.

"It'd be very easy to sit in and do the same thing as we did at Bradford, but we're at home and will have to make the running.

"I wouldn't say we are favourites, Bradford are an excellent team and we're not a big enough team to think we are now favourites.

"But we have got the best home record in all of the Football League and that gives us a chance."

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson is relieved his side travel to Staffordshire only one goal down and insists the pressure is now on the Brewers.

And he has vowed his side will put in a better performance than their Valley Parade showing.

"We will go to win the game," he said. "We want to keep our season alive.

"People have said we were favourites, well now the tables have turned, the onus is on Burton to some degree and we have to go down there and put in a good display.

"They are a good side and the challenge for us is to play at our best. The lads have been outstanding this season but we need one more big performance on Sunday.

"We want to play well and come out of it with some credit.

"We want to come off the pitch, whatever the outcome, having given the season justice and if we do that, who knows where it will take us.

"The play-offs do strange things sometimes. We got punished for a disappointing first half on Thursday but we got back in it, but it's a slender lead and I am looking forward to it.

"The mood is one of determination already."

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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