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Neville backs Blackwell in Bury survival fight
EVERTON skipper Phil Neville believes manager Kevin Blackwell is the right man to steer his home-town club Bury out of the League One mire this season.
Defeat at relegation-threatened counterparts Portsmouth last weekend saw the Shakers slump to the foot of the table and eight points from safety with 10 games to go.
The Gigg Lane men have lost five of their last six matches after a run of four unbeaten boosted survival hopes.
Tuesday’s home clash with fifth-bottom Scunthorpe could have seen the gap bridged before the return of the winter weather saw the home clash postponed.
But Bury still have back-to-back home matches inside four days, starting on Saturday against Colchester and Stevenage on Tuesday which are crucial if they are to maintain a fight to avoid relagtion to the basement division.
Neville, though, is confident they have the spirit to survive.
The 36-year-old exclusively told The Bury Times: “It’s tough times at the club but they have to pull together and survive this season.
“You always get one season when you just have to survive by the skin of your teeth and it looks like it is one of those seasons for Bury.
“But they have a manager with great experience who I think is probably the best man to get them out of this situation.
“It is not going to be easy in a tough league, but I am confident there is enough spirit in the club to survive.”
Neville, whose mum Jill has been secretary at Gigg Lane for more than 20 years, admits it is tough to see the team struggling this season.
He may not have played for the club but retains strong connections there and says he always keeps an eye out for their results after his own matches with the Toffees.
And nothing would please him more than seeing the Shakers and Blackwell pull off a great escape.
Speaking at Lancashire County Cricket Club’s Emirates Old Trafford home at the launch of “The Lancashire Way” project to get people involved in cricket, Neville added: “I obviously have strong connections with the club and will be looking out for their results hoping they can do it.”