Change brewing in Burton?

Something has to change if we're to avoid a relegation scrap in the months to come and there's no better place to start a slow crawl up the table than in the pub town of Burton this weekend.

Are we in a rut or are we in a rot? Hopefully, in spite of our recent bad run, it's just a rut that we'll break out of soon. As things stand, the alarm bells don't seem to be sounding at management level in the club, whether on the pitch or in the board room. And on social media the jury remains out on what should be done. Generally, there seems to be an acceptance that Michael Appleton should be given time and the right ingredients to work with.

On the other hand, at what point does time run out? After all the changes of the past few years, are we any further on than we were when Johnnie Jackson was at the helm? At the point of his departure, we had just finished the season in 13th position. That's exactly where we are now but if we lose to Burton, we'll fall to at least 15th (due to Port Vale and Wycombe playing one another on the same day) and most likely below.

It's imperative then that we come back with at least a point on Saturday and ideally all three. The new signings that we have made certainly point towards future promise.

After snatching a late equaliser at The Valley last month, Burton have at home had two wins against Shrewsbury and Blackpool and a draw with Wycombe. Away from home they have lost narrowly at Bolton and Derby. These results suggest that there is some truth in the words of new manager Martin Paterson after the Derby game:

"In the second half especially, we saw a group that is starting to believe in themselves and showed what they are capable of."

Notable in the 2-3 defeat at Pride Park was an excellent goal from twenty year old Manchester United loanee Joe Hugill, four minutes after making his debut as a substitute. Our defence (39 conceded) is now the worst in League One outside the bottom four and few would bet on us keeping our first clean sheet in fourteen games on Saturday. Maybe new signing Macaulay Gillesphey is the answer?

We travel in hope of three points followed by three more at home to Northampton next Tuesday. That way, by then, any talk of a relegation fight will seem like a load of cobblers.