NEW BURY boss Lee Clark has said that today’s trip to relegation rivals Chesterfield will be the first of 14 ‘Cup finals’.
The former Huddersfield and Birmingham manager was appointed on Wednesday, replacing interim boss Chris Brass, and has been tasked with keeping the Shakers in League One.
Brass bowed out on a positive note, with Bury having lost just one of their last six and over the last week they’ve kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since last April.
But the Shakers remain in the bottom four and are two points from safety as they round off what’s been a busy week in League One with a trip to second-bottom Chesterfield.
“Staying up is the first target but there’s plenty of games,” said Clark. “We’ve got 14 left, they’re all Cup finals and you’ve got to treat them like that. None more so than Chesterfield.
“The team’s coming off the back of a decent little run and that will have rebuilt some confidence in the players, with a change in formation. I won’t have to do too much before this game because the team are doing a lot of good things.
“I’ll now have to watch the players and make an assessment on who I think are ready to do the short-term job, which is to keep the club in the division, and then we can build.
“They’re all huge games coming up but the games where you’re playing the teams around you have more significance. They’re the games where you have to take positive results – hopefully win, and if you cannot win then take the point.”
After David Flitcroft’s departure, Brass blooded several youth players and Clark said that he’d continue to pick them if he feels they are good enough.
“I think young players don’t feel the pressure as much,” he said. “They go out and it’s still as if they’re playing on a field with their mates, they’ve still got that enjoyment. I don’t even look at birth certificates.”
Clark also said that, initially, he’d continue with the formation that Brass finished with, playing a five-man defence as Bury beat Swindon 1-0 last Saturday then draw 0-0 with MK Dons on Tuesday night.
OLDHAM have had an even better week so far, beating Coventry 3-2 last Saturday before Ollie Banks’ curled in an early strike against Charlton on Tuesday night and Latics held on to claim their 5th win in 8 since John Sheridan’s return as boss. They’re now sixth-bottom, two points above the drop zone, as they visit third-bottom Swindon today.
“There’s a buzz around the place and the lads are really enjoying it,” said Banks. “Nobody’s place is safe and we’ve seen that over the last few weeks with the squad rotation. Everyone is fighting week in, week out, to keep the shirt so that’s a positive.”
At the other end, Mark Beevers bundled in a late winner to give BOLTON a 1-0 victory at home to local rivals ROCHDALE on Tuesday night.
That made it back-to-back wins for Wanderers after beating Walsall last Saturday and kept them 3rd, two points outside the top two. Manager Phil Parkinson signed former Wigan defender Reece Wabara this week and today he takes Bolton to face his former club Bradford, who are 5th.
“I had 5 good years there and I’m looking forward to going back,” said Parkinson. “We’ll have a terrific following again so it’ll be a cracking atmosphere. These are the games – as managers, coaches and players – that you want to be involved in.”
Having drawn 0-0 at Fleetwood last Saturday, Rochdale are now 6 without a win and have slipped to 9th but they aim to get their home form going again as they host mid-table Charlton today.
Up in the Championship, third-bottom WIGAN won 1-0 at Wolves on Tuesday night to go within two points of safety and they have a Lancashire derby today at home to 10th-placed Preston.