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JAMIE HOYLAND: Play-off heartache may be a blessing
6:00am Thursday 24th April 2014 in Sport
THIS may be hard for Bury fans to hear, but I think the fact they are now out of the League Two play-off race could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
In my view, the club needs the benefit of a full close season to organise and prepare for a serious promotion push.
There is no doubt the team is good enough to give any of the top sides a game, but are they ready to make that step up to League One? I would say no.
The manager, chairman and directors can now use the extra time to get everything in place, on and off the pitch.
Negotiations are ongoing over player contracts and Flickers will have identified the holes in his squad he needs to fill and the players he wants bring in.
Those plans could have been thrown in flux by a run in the play-offs.
Players the manager may have already made up his mind about could have either come to the fore or wilted in the pressure of the knock-out games.
And if they had managed to pull off a surprise to win promotion, then Flickers and the chairman will probably have had to rip up their plans and start again.
Now that their fate is decided, those plans can be set in stone, rather than waiting until possibly the end of May. I look at Burnley as a shining example of this.
When Sean Dyche took over at Turf Moor midway through last season, fans did not really take to him immediately because he spent time putting the foundations in place.
That meant his side first concentrated on keeping clean sheets before really expanding on their attacking play.
During the close season he instilled in his squad the style of play he wanted to see and made sure that each player was aware of their individual jobs within his system.
And look at what they achieved.
Sean didn’t add many players in the summer, yet Burnley have earned automatic promotion on what was probably the smallest budget in the Championship.
I think Flickers has carried out his work in a similarly methodical way and there are now a whole host of positive markers to suggest Bury can achieve a similar success, if not via automatic promotion then the play-offs.
The Shakers have certainly captured the attention of managers and players throughout League Two and I know from the many people I have spoken to that they will be viewed as one of teams to beat next season.
What they have to do now is keep that momentum going, finish as high up in the table as they possibly can and then kick on from there.
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