BURY boss David Flitcroft has sounded the alarm bells as his relegation-threatened side prepare to take on fellow “strugglers” Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
But far from looking over his shoulder at the League Two drop zone, the Shakers manager believes teams from 10th place down should be the ones living in fear.
Bury are just two points above the relegation places, with Accrington only a point better off.
Yet both sides have shown decent form in the past few weeks, with the Shakers picking up eight points from their last six games, one shy of Accrington.
Their form is in marked contrast to 10th-placed Dagenham & Redbridge, who are bottom of the form tables having picked up just four points from the last six games.
And while Dagenham may still be eight points clear of the relegation places, Flitcroft is adamant they, and other sides struggling for form, like Hartlepool and Portsmouth, should be concerned.
“It is so tight – from 10 down – that we know we need to win games to start putting pressure on other teams who probably, three or four weeks ago, thought they had a cushion,” he said.
“It’s about trying to take the safety blanket off them to put them under a little bit of pressure.
“You put these teams under pressure and strange things happen - pressure does crazy things.”
While Flitcroft has been busy turning up the heat on his League Two rivals, he has also been working hard to reshape his squad.
The Bury boss released five players – Gareth Roberts, Shaun Harrad, Marlon Jackoson, Euan Holden and Jessy Reindorf – last week before signing former Barnsley defender Jim McNulty on a free transfer.
The 28-year-old defender was handed his debut alongside fellow new signing Pablo Mills in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to promotion hopefuls Burton Albion.
And Flitcroft now hopes to boost his first-team further with the signing of a left-sided wing-back.
“We looked at one yesterday,” he said.
“We took all the management team across and we thought we had got near but it fell at the last hurdle.
“So at the minute there’s nothing definite, but it is quite evident we need that balance.
“Craig Jones put a fantastic shift in on that right-hand side and it looked balanced and cohesive.
“I thought Chris Sedgwick did incredibly well on the opposite flank in what was a very difficult ask. To have a right-footed player playing down that left-hand channel is quite difficult. That’s the professional Sedgy is, I thought he was outstanding in his work and application to the job we asked him to do.
“But the search continues and we will keep tracking players.”
Bury have no injury worries ahead of their trip to Accrington and will hope to do the double over a side they beat comfortably, 3-0, in the reverse fixture.