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Shakers striker search struggle after Yulu u-turn
BURY’S search for a striker continues after manager Kevin Blackwell made an abrupt u-turn over Belgian target man Jeanvion Yulu-Matondo.
The 27-year-old former Club Brugge forward, known as Yulu, was signed on non-contract terms at the start of the week.
But the Shakers boss said he was heading back to the Continent after a below-par performance in the development squad’s 1-0 defeat at Bolton in the Manchester Senior Cup on Monday night.
“He was free. He was out of contract. He’d shown a little bit in training,” explained Blackwell after Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United.
“I made him sign a non-contract form just in case, if he did something on Monday night, I might have been able to throw him on the bench.
“But he’s on a plane back to Brussels as we speak.”
Blackwell has been able to tie up a few other deals though, extending the loan of Wolves utility player Ethan Ebanks-Landell until the end of the season as he prepares for Saturday’s Gigg Lane clash with Coventry City.
He has also handed a three-month contract to former Crystal Palace midfielder Tom Soares, who had been playing at Gigg Lane on non-contract terms since November.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who was released by Stoke in the summer, had been made to wait for a permanent deal until he could prove his fitness.
The Bury boss admits he is struggling with the same issue as he bids to unearth another striker, midfielder and centre-back from a constant stream of triallists.
“The fact is, they are not fit enough when they come here,” he said.
“Yulu, for example, hadn’t played since last May.
“Most of the triallists we have haven’t played for five or six months.
“Their bodies have become de-conditioned and you’ve got to try to get it back up because, as we saw against Sheffield United, we are playing against strong, powerful, quick lads.
“If I had my way, I’d go and get a team of Ronaldos, but I can’t.
“So I’m trying to find players who cost nothing, fit the bill and play at the right level.
“Let me tell you, Paul Daniels would have a right job to do it as well.”
Despite struggling for players – Blackwell was only able to field six substitutes in both matches this week – the Bury manager has continued to ship others out.
Veteran centre-back Efe Sodje was loaned to Blue Square Bet Premier side Barrow for a month on Tuesday, prompting concerns Bury would be left short on defensive cover.
But Blackwell said: “If I keep some of the people here, we will be relegated, it’s as simple as that.
“They were the same people who were here when I came here.
“You have to make changes as a manager. It’s up to me to make decisions. That’s what I’m paid to do and I’ll do that.
“So far, I think the decisions have been right.”