Al­bion fans were ‘spoiled’ dur­ing spec­tac­u­lar rise

Burton Mail - - Sport -

BRIS­TOL Rovers man­ager Dar­rell Clarke says his club will aim to repli­cate Bur­ton Al­bion’s rise into the Cham­pi­onship - a pe­riod dur­ing which he says their fans were “spoiled”.

Clarke takes his Pi­rates team to the Pirelli Sta­dium to­day for their League One clash, with both out­fits look­ing to end three-game win­less runs.

The last meet­ings be­tween the sides came in League Two in the 2013-14 sea­son.

At the end of that cam­paign, Rovers were rel­e­gated to the Na­tional League and Bur­ton were beaten in the play-off fi­nal, be­fore se­cur­ing suc­ces­sive pro­mo­tions in the two sub­se­quent sea­sons and reach­ing English foot­ball’s sec­ond tier for the first time in their his­tory.

“They’ve been spoiled, that’s what it is, that’s the way I look at it,” Clarke told the Bris­tol Post.

“The fans have en­joyed the ride, Nigel (Clough) got them from non-League and pushed them through the di­vi­sions years and years ago.

“He kicked on to man­age big­ger clubs and now he’s back, it’s his club.

“Cer­tainly, the fans have been spoiled with a cou­ple of years in the Cham­pi­onship where they’ve mas­sively over­achieved.

“We are aim­ing to try to repli­cate that at some point and keep work­ing hard to do it. “It’ll be a tough place, it al­ways has been. “I think Nigel’s done an un­be­liev­able job. The year he kept them in the Cham­pi­onship, it was bet­ter than any feat of any man­ager all the way through the four di­vi­sions. “Bur­ton are a small club that have been punch­ing mas­sively above their weight, they’ve got a fan­tas­tic man­ager in Nigel.

“They haven’t had a ter­rific start to this sea­son but this divi­sion is very com­pet­i­tive.

“I’m not fear­ful of play­ing any­body. When we played Peter­bor­ough United and Portsmouth, we were the bet­ter team against Portsmouth.

“We’re not fear­ing any team we come up against, it’s tight, we’re cer­tainly not over­awed by who we play.

“Bur­ton’s an­other team we go to on Satur­day who haven’t had a good start but they’re well re­spected with a great man­ager and we’re look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.”

Dar­rell Clarke

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