Will Atkinson helped knock them out last year, and he's out to do exactly the same again
Will Atkinson has already ended Burton Albion’s play-off hopes once, and now he is determined to do it again as Southend United take on the Brewers.
Last season, Atkinson played a part in helping Bradford City down the Brewers in the semi-finals, before going on to win at Wembley and seal promotion to League 1.
The midfielder has now set his sights on dumping the Brewers out again, and getting to Wembley for a third time in two seasons.
He said: “Obviously last season at this stage, we were up against Burton Albion in the semi-finals with Bradford City. We lost the first-leg at home but went to the Pirelli Stadium and won.
“So I’ve got very good memories of play-off games at this stadium, and hopefully there will be more to come on Sunday. It’d be great to get an advantage in the first-leg to bring to Roots Hall.
“That success was great and it only drives me on to pick up more, and do just as well again this season, which we’re close to doing.
“Having got to Wembley twice last season, I would love to get back there again and hopefully make it two wins out of three.
“There’s 180 minutes, potentially more, before we can think about that though and I can’t wait for Sunday’s game.”
His memories with Bradford are still etched in the midfielder’s mind, but he says is delighted to be with Southend United now.
“It was hard to leave Bradford City after the year we had,” he said. “Coming to Southend with Phil Brown here I knew I was moving to a good place.
“I was able to hit the ground running. It’s a fantastic club and I’ve really enjoyed the year so far, but now I want to cap it with promotion.”
Having dealt with the play-off pressure last season, Atkinson believes experience is important at this stage. But form and confidence are just as vital, and the midfielder believes Blues have that in abundance.
He added: “It’s very important to have that form going into the play-offs, and after the dip we have had, we’re now finding that form at the right time.
“There’s pressure on both teams, it’s the end of the season and we all know the prize at stake. It’s a nervy time, but I’m sure we will rise to the occasion.
“Experience will also play a factor, and the manager has got that experience too which will stand us in good stead.”