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Injury concerns sees Flitcroft turn to fringe players
9:00am Thursday 26th December 2013 in Sport
DAVID Flitcroft is preparing to call upon the club’s forgotten men to help dig the Shakers out of a hole over the festive fixtures.
The new Bury boss could be forced to dip into the reserves for today’s clash at home to in-form Scunthorpe United with captain Craig Jones, on-loan full-back Shaun Beeley and experienced midfielder Tom Soares all doubtful due to injury.
Jones was forced off with a groin problem in the closing stages of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Plymouth, while Fleetwood defender Beeley pulled up with a tight hamstring in the first half.
Soares missed the trip to Home Park, also with a hamstring injury, leaving Flitcroft with an ever-decreasing squad to pick from.
The 39-year-old former Barnsley coach is concerned, however, that the players on the fringes may not be fit to make an instant return after being frozen out by the previous regime.
“The players on the sidelines are hungry but they are not ready,” he said.
“It’s crazy what has happened at the football club and that’s something I’m going to have to eradicate quickly.
“When I have called upon some of the players they have not been ready – I find that insulting to those players.
“But it is my job now to make sure that when they go on to the pitch they are ready to work flat out for the football club.”
Marco Navas came on for Beeley at right-back on Saturday and helped to steady the ship following a rocky opening half hour.
But he was ultimately at fault for Argyle’s winning goal after allowing Lewis Alessandra the chance to cross for Reuben Reid to score.
Danny Mayor put in a promising performance filling in for Soares on the left of midfield, despite missing a key chance just before the break.
And Ashley Grimes looks to be a ready-made replacement for Jones in his new role linking midfield and attack.
But Flitcroft has major doubts over the readiness of players further down the pecking order and has new recruits ready and waiting in the wings once the January transfer window opens.
The concern is that Bury have important matches to come before then – with relegation rivals York at home on Sunday and a trip to Hartlepool on New Year’s Day following today’s Scunthorpe test.
“I’m looking forward to January but there are another two or three games before that and plenty of points to play for,” he said.
“So we will get to January and then look at it, but that feels like a long time off.”
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