VETERAN defender Efe Sodje has warned Bury’s entire squad they are playing for their footballing futures as they battle to avoid relegation from League One.
The Shakers 2-0 victory over Tranmere – their first win for 13 matches – lifted the Gigg Lane club five points above the relegation zone and, encouragingly for Richie Barker’s side, they are now unbeaten in three outings having kept two clean sheets.
The 39-year-old Sodje, who broke the deadlock in the Rovers clash with a superb looping header, said he and his team-mates must continue to battle for their lives.
He has forged a promising partnership with Huddersfield loanee Nathan Clarke with whom he played at the West Yorkshire club, but dismissed suggestions that his centre-back partner was the only Bury player in danger of leaving the club at the end of the season.
“It’s not only Nathan who is playing for his future,” said Sodje. “We are all in that situation, because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a one year or two-year contract, if we go down, the club will have to let us go.
“So nobody is safe. People think that they are, but they’re not.”
However, the Nigerian is convinced Bury have what it takes to stay up and is confident of a positive result when they travel to Brentford on Saturday to face what is likely to be a highly physical threat.
“We’re not bothered who we play,” he said. “If we play like we did in the last three or four games, we will not have a problem.
“Yes, Brentford are a big physical side, but we had that against Tranmere and we coped with it. We will defend, that’s what we’re there for and we’ll keep on doing it.”
Sodje maintains he always knew Bury would be promoted from League Two last season and that they would stay up, and he still believes that.
But he admitted to relief at the Tranmere result while conceding the Bury squad had fallen into the trap of complacency which may have brought about the recent run of bad form.
“We were relieved,” he said. “But we believe in our force and we’ll just keep on going.
“Some of us thought it was going to be easy because a few months ago we were about 12th in the league, and they stepped off the gas.
“But there was a reality check where people thought ‘wow, we’re going to be fighting a battle’. In the last three games we have fought well.”