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Lewis ready for Oxford United's trip to Brewers' fortress
WHILE Burton Albion may not immediately spring to mind when thinking about the most arduous away trips of the season, Mickey Lewis thinks tomorrow’s clash is as tough as it gets.
The Brewers picked up 54 points from their games at the Pirelli Stadium last season, a tally which on its own would have been good enough for an 18th place finish.
It included a 4-0 mauling of Oxford United last September.
Burton have started the new campaign in a similar vein, picking up four points from two games and taking Fulham to a penalty shoot-out in the Capital One Cup.
It all means Lewis is expecting a severe test when both teams put their unbeaten runs on the line.
United’s assistant manager said: “I think Burton are one of the best teams in the league.
“They are a physically strong side, who are always good at home, so I think this is one of the toughest games of the season.
“People were talking about Portsmouth being difficult, but I think this is right up there with that.
“They were 2-0 down against Bury a couple of weeks ago and showed what they were about by coming back to draw 2-2.
“They scored late last week to win at Accrington, so they’re a fit side and will go to the end.
“Last season they won a crazy amount of games 1-0, went on a really good run and ended up fourth.
“I think people thought they wouldn’t be there come the end of the season, but they’ve gone past that stage now and everyone's realising they have a decent team.”
But while Burton are strong at home, the U’s are building a good record of their own on the road.
Only three teams in the division won more away games than them last season and this campaign has started with excellent wins at Portsmouth (4-1) and Torquay (3-1).
The performances contrast with less convincing displays at home in the opening month of the season.
Lewis thinks the squad has players whose style is well suited to playing on the break.
He said: “We have players who are good on the counter, going back to last season you have Alfie (Potter), Riggy (Sean Rigg), Deane Smalley, Beano (James Constable).
“I think we’re good on the counter, but it’s a bit early at the moment to be saying we’re better away than at home.”
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