Grant McCann has praised the work-rate of his regular midfield trio of George Honeyman, Greg Docherty and captain Richie Smallwood.
Honeyman and Dochery have each played in 23 of the Tigers’ 25 league matches, with Smallwood starting 21.
Ex-Rangers man Docherty has scored in his last two appearances and was singled out for praise by McCann following his performance against Lincoln City on Tuesday night.
The boss highlighted the distances he and Honeyman cover on a weekly basis, totalling 12-13km a game.
Asked in his pre-Burton press conference what he puts those running stats down to, McCann said: “It’s a bit of everything. It’s their attitude. It’s their behaviours. It’s the way they go about their business when they’re at the training ground or away from the training ground.
“They’re tremendous characters, both of them. When I talk about 12-13k a game, they’re covering serious amount of sprint distance, high-intensity runs, accelerating, decelerating – they go through the roof.
“It’s not just a plod for 12-13k, it’s phenomenal statistics they both put in week in, week out, with the skipper, Richie Smallwood, covering 11-12k as well.
“The three of them are phenomenal in terms of what they do for the team.
“It gives others the opportunities to go and create and score goals. It helps the defenders defend and keep clean sheets.”
McCann continued: “Anyone’s midfield in any league or division is the heartbeat of your team.
“If you have the fundamentals right in there, and the balance right in there, you’re on to hopefully good performances and good results in a lot of games. I think we’ve seen that this season.
“Those three have set everything for us – the way we go forward, the way we defend. They control the press, they get people into positions, the communication, their talking. Their attitudes are unbelievable.
“Them three have been first class for us all season and we’ll need them to be first class for the next 21 games.”