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JAMIE HOYLAND: Soaring expectations could be Bury's biggest obstacle
11:00pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in Shakers Updates
I THOUGHT Saturday was when the season really got started for Bury.
With the number of players coming in I think it was understandable things did not click straight away and the first few results were only to be expected.
My concern when they went 1-0 down early on against Cheltenham was that, after putting in such a gutsy performance at Norwich in the Capital One Cup in the week, it would be a little bit like after the Lord Mayor’s show.
But their reaction was fantastic and they had the game won by the 17th minute playing some of the best football I think anyone will have seen at Gigg Lane in years.
I was really struck by the buzz about the place – it had the feel of a club moving in the right direction.
Many people have warned about the problem of getting players to gel when there have been so many new faces – 25 in total – coming into a club.
But Kevin Blackwell is an experienced manager and he will have had plans in place before the end of last season, it has just been a case of putting them into action and I think he has done a brilliant job.
To be honest, what has happened at Bury reminds me a lot of the time I first arrived at Gigg Lane.
I was one of a number of young players Martin Dobson brought to the club who had maybe lost their way a little.
Once he had us in place he then brought in some real experience – players who had been there, done it and bought the T-shirt – to help our development.
You need that drive and enthusiasm of young players like Danny Mayor, Anton Forrester, Nathan Cameron and Jordan Sinnott, but you can’t just leave these kids to it and expect them to win you promotion in their first season together.
The signings of Tommy Miller, Gareth Roberts and this week Brian Jensen have really just brought the whole thing together and I think the sky is the limit.
There will be the usual ups and downs along the way, but the manager will know how to deal with those. I think the biggest problem will be managing expectations.
But Bury looks like the place to be. All of the other clubs in the division will see them as a big threat and will raise their game against them.
That will make it difficult, but if players like Mayor can show the kind of form he did in his man-of-the-match performance on Saturday then they will have enough to counter that.
I had him at Preston as a youth team player and I knew he was a fine footballer back then, it was just a case of which club would get the best out of him.
He was really unlucky to be moved on by Graham Westley, as a lot of good players were at that time, and I think the switch to Sheffield Wednesday came a little bit too soon for him.
But Bury have got a great player on their hands and I look forward to seeing his development this season at Gigg Lane.
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