KEVIN Blackwell admits he was flattered to be linked with the vacant Barnsley manager’s job, but says he has too much unfinished business at Gigg Lane to consider jumping ship.

At one point last week, when Sean O’Driscoll turned down an approach from the Tykes directors, the Shakers boss was heavily backed to take over at Oakwell.

With Bury under a transfer embargo and Blackwell voicing his frustrations, the regional media on both sides of the Pennines very quickly put two and two together.

It now looks as if Barnsley will plump for Inverness manager Terry Butcher, but Blackwell says his focus has only ever been on turning Bury’s fortunes around.

“It’s nice to be linked to jobs, that’s for sure,” he said.

“It shows that people are recognising the work myself and my staff are doing.

“People know what I can do but at this moment in time I have got a big job trying to sort out the problems here at Bury.”

The Shakers go into the weekend’s trip to MK Dons on the back of a much-needed break after their scheduled match at home to Sheffield United last Saturday was moved to January 22 due to a clash with the FA Cup third round.

Bury’s last match – a 1-0 defeat at home to League One leaders Tranmere on New Year’s Day – ended a run of nine games in a month. They failed to win any of those, yet are still find themselves only two points from safety.

“The players needed a rest – they played two more games than any other professional club in December,” said Blackwell.

“The lads came in on Monday and worked very hard. They looked refreshed and ready for action.”