NEW dates for Bury’s recent postponed fixtures were announced this week, and threw up a tantalising run of games at Gigg Lane.
While the match at home to Stevenage has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 19, a much earlier window has been found for the big one against Sheffield United, which will now be played on Tuesday week (February 12).
That will give the Shakers directors three bumper pay-days in a row, starting with the visit of League One’s second-placed side Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, while Coventry (February 16) will visit Gigg Lane four days after the Blades clash.
Coventry confirmed this week that they had been allocated more than 3,000 tickets for the trip to Bury, while all three home matches in February are expected to see gates of 5,000-plus – double the club’s average this season.
The sequence of matches may provide a welcome shot in the arm for the club’s troubled finances, but they offer an all-together more daunting prospect for the players.
Throw in difficult trips to promotion-chasers Brentford, Notts County and Swindon and February looks like the month from hell.
Yet manager Kevin Blackwell says the fixtures offer his squad an ideal chance to prove their doubters wrong.
“I have told my players that this is their opportunity to show to people that we could have been there or thereabouts if we had this sort of team and mentality from the start of the season,” said the Bury boss, who has hauled the Gigg Lane outfit from the foot of League One to the brink of safety since taking over last September.
“They know they are good enough to give anyone a game, now they just have to prove it.”
While Bury have risen to third bottom under Blackwell, they have struggled to turn draws into wins of late.
They made it four draws out of their last six games at Shrewsbury on Saturday, stretching their winless run in the league to nine matches.
But the Shakers manager said: “The teams I put out will always be competitive.
“Just look at MK Dons. We should have beaten them at their place and then they go and murder QPR the following week.
“If we can get a break in front of goal, we are confident of beating anyone.”