Date: 13th December 2011 at 8:51pm
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You can tell we are between transfer windows as there is virtually nothing out there in the press at the moment concerning Burton Albion, but I`ll try to summarise what little I`ve found.

First things first, the Brewers look likely to return to St George`s Park at Rangemore any time soon, which will give them arguably one of the best training facilities in the UK if not Europe and beyond. The Burton Mail quotes Paul Peschisolido as saying “St George`s Park is going to be in a different league to anything else in this country ? and that`s including the facilities available to the likes of Manchester United and the rest of the Premier League big boys”.

Having recently visited the site myself I have to say that there is little in this country, if anything, that compares and that surely must help come the time to attract new players to the club.

The manager goes on to say in the Mail “it`s going to be a phenomenal facility, and to think it will be our training base is absolutely amazing. We`re not quite sure yet when we will be going back, but they`ve asked for our training schedule over the next few weeks, so I imagine it could be quite soon.”

Tuesday afternoon saw the reserves playing away to Port Vale and they ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat. A bright spot for Burton though was Justin Richards getting ninety minutes under his belt which must, surely, get him in line for a start this Saturday against Dagenham & Redbridge. Andy Corbett found himself lining up in the centre of defence to allow Bradley Munn a game at right back, whilst the Brewers fielded a trialist goalkeeper in Tom Turner, but all I know of him is that he is named Tom Turner and he`s a goalkeeper (thanks Wikipedia!). Actually, a bit of digging online leads me to believe he was at Bolton Wanderers as a youngster, but was released and joined Buxton, then signed for Belper Town last summer.

The Burton scorer was Evan Garnett, yet another player who is coming up through the ranks.

Most of the other reports out there cover the non-event that was the Crawley match last weekend, with headlines such as “Albion down without a whimper against top dogs” (Burton Mail), “Burton bullied out of game by classy Crawley, admits Pesch” (Derby Telegraph) and (groan) “Three and easy for table toppers Crawley” (Daily Mail).

To be fair you can`t really argue against any of those banners, can you?

Rhino gives a fair review in the Derby Telegraph, and is quoted as saying “We knew how they were going to start and sometimes, when you go away from home, you will get bombarded for the first 10 minutes. They got a bit of joy from that, which put them on the front foot, so, to a certain extent, the tone was set by them. Their game plan worked and ours didn’t seem to at the start of the game, which put us on the back foot.’

For those of us there on Saturday it seemed to be a simple case of Crawley being much better than us in all areas of the pitch. There`s no doubt that they got a deserved win, but the way they repeatedly cut through the Burton midfield and defence was worrying. A fair number of people have said we are fifth because of our forward line and on a day when we could have played until midnight and hardly worried the home goalkeeper, the defence surely has to be where the manager casts his gaze during the winter transfer window.

But it`s bottom-placed Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend and after making lowly Plymouth and Bradford look half decent against us at the Pirelli this season (one win, one draw), you`ve got to hope that this time we take the bull by the horns and give the opposition a day to forget.

Justin Richards and a match winning return will do me just fine!