Burton Albion’s rise to The SkyBet Championship has been nothing short of miraculous, only gaining promotion to the Football League as recently as 2009.
However after unexpected back-to-back promotions, one under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and then under current manager Nigel Clough, they were promoted to the SkyBet Championship in 2016.
For a club with a small budget, the smallest by far in their division, no-one expected them to stay clear of relegation last season. Happily however, they did, but only just.
Nigel Clough’s side stayed up by a single point, and surprised everyone, with the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Rotherham being relegated, all clubs with much bigger resources than Burton.
To put their financial situation in context, Burton Albion broke their transfer record this summer, paying just £500,000 for central defender Liam Boyce from Ross County. This is compared to Blackburn Rovers, the club who finished one point behind them and got relegated to SkyBet League One last season who paid £8million pounds to Huddersfield for Jordan Rhodes a few seasons ago.
Burton Albion are clearly a side who are massively overachieving, with many predicting that they won’t have enough to stay in the division this year. Sadly for Clough’s side, these predictions may be on the money, as they are currently bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, after winning just one game in their last six fixtures and have just three wins all season.
Burton Albion captain Shaun Barker believes that the main difference between their form this season as opposed to last, is the consistency of their performances at home.
“In terms of getting results, probably the consistency of our performances were a bit better last season, said Barker.
“That’s why we managed to stay out of the bottom three for a long long period.
“Our performances were really high, and we got some fantastic results here last season.
Despite their poor start, Barker firmly believes they have what it takes to prove everyone wrong again and avoid the drop.
“This season’s a little bit tougher.
“People probably underestimate you when they come to Burton, they expect wins.
“It’s been tough this season but we’re confident, if you’re not confident about staying up there’s no point playing football.