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Burton boss Clough keen for quality control against Canaries

It's been tough at time for Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough. Picture: PA

It's been tough at time for Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Nigel Clough has urged his Burton players to learn from their Boxing Day defeat to Leeds.

The Brewers threw away a 1-0 lead, conceding two goals in three minutes to lose 2-1 at home to Leeds and lose their eighth consecutive Pirelli Stadium game.

Pablo Hernandez curled home a fine 20-yard free-kick for the equaliser and the Burton boss is wary of Norwich having similar quality capable of punishing mistakes.

“It’s similar to Leeds, the way that they play, technically gifted players,” Clough told the Burton Mail. “It’s the front four, which we emphasised to the players against Leeds, it’s the same with Norwich.

“Oliveira, if he plays up front, then you’ve got Maddison, you’ve got Murphy and you’ve got Pritchard. They are the front four and they will hurt the majority of teams in this league if you let them.

“That is the biggest threat to deal with. If we can keep those four quiet, we’ve got a chance.

“You talk about free-kicks and Hernandez putting one in for Leeds, Maddison can do it as well as him. That’s why you can’t give these players opportunities to do that from 20 or 25 yards out, because that’s what they practise most of the week.

“You can’t go within 10 yards of them, you can’t go and close them down, they’ve got all the time in the world to set it up, choose where they want to put it. You just can’t give them too many of those opportunities.”

Team news: Hoolahan and Jerome fit to return as Farke demands focus from Canaries for Burton battle

The former Derby and Sheffield United manager does feel his squad are putting in the work required to end their poor home form though.

“Preston, Ipswich and Barnsley were the same,” Clough continued. “It’s just little things and we are beating ourselves. That’s both the good and bad thing. On the road we don’t make those mistakes and we win the game. At home, we have to stop beating ourselves.

“On Boxing Day, we had as many situations as Leeds. Although it was three points dropped it is nice to still be outside the bottom three.

“If we hadn’t won the two games away we might have been a bit adrift now. But we also know that there’s plenty more to come from the players. They can’t give any more but they can improve in certain things.”

• Follow all the build-up to this afternoon’s game in our Matchday Live blog at pinkun.com/live

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