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League Two

Rowett not getting carried away

3 May 2013

Burton manager Gary Rowett admitted his side's impressive npower League Two play-off semi-final first-leg victory at Bradford exceeded his expectations.

The Brewers put in a fine first-half display to set-up a 3-2 win, taking a slender advantage back to the Pirelli Stadium where they boasted the best home record in the Football League during the regular season.

Striker Calvin Zola was the chief destroyer with a six-minute brace, while Robbie Weir's fierce strike gave them a 3-1 half-time lead. Garry Thompson salvaged some hope for the Bantams, but Rowett was delighted with his side's position ahead of Sunday's second leg, saying: "We came with a game-plan and it worked well."

He added: "We played with discipline, but we have probably created more chances than we ever have done away from home all season. I would have been happy going back level or with a one-goal deficit to give us something to chase, so I'm delighted.

"But we're not getting carried away. We have got something to protect and fight for and we will take that into the second leg. But it's only half-time in the tie. Everyone played their part. We are not celebrating. We have played very, very well and beat a fantastic Bradford side and we can feel proud about that."

Bradford were made to pay for a poor first-half display, despite Nahki Wells' 38th-minute penalty, and manager Phil Parkinson acknowledged his side were off the boil. But the former Hull boss claimed Thompson's late strike - a stunning curling effort - could prove pivotal.

"With the way we played in the first half I am pleased we are just a goal down," he said. "It's half-time. We're 1-0 down. The onus was on us tonight and we didn't deal with it, but the tables are turned on Sunday. We're still in this tie. A tremendous goal by Garry Thompson has kept this tie alive. We got the goal back and it's all to play for."

Parkinson, whose men were the form team coming into the game, expects his players to improve in the second leg on Sunday.

"My task is to make sure we produce a far better performance than we did in the first 45 minutes," he said. "The play-offs create an edginess. The lads have been magnificent as a team this season, but I just feel we played as individuals in the first half.

"I've got to make sure that whatever happens on Sunday we put in a better performance. We wanted to go out there and show everyone we were a good team but we forgot to do the basics."

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