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Ronnie Jepson's threat to under-performing Shakers
CARETAKER boss Ronnie Jepson has promised any Bury players expecting a weekend off after defeat in their FA Cup replay at Cambridge United will get a nasty shock when they return to training today.
The Shakers would have been hosting League One Sheffield United in front of the BT Sport cameras in the next round of the cup on Sunday if they had been able to beat the non-league side on Tuesday night.
But after conceding from a late set-piece to fall to a 2-1 defeat at the Skrill Premier leaders, Bury find themselves without a match.
“It won’t be a break,” said Jepson.
“We’ll be back on the training ground working hard and trying to get up to where we want to be with them, reminding everyone of their jobs and their responsibilities.”
That pointed remark could well have been directed towards midfielder Tom Soares, who failed to track the run of his marker, Luke Berry, at the 87th-minute corner that led to Cambridge’s winner.
Soares’s mistake effectively robbed Bury of a £100,000 windfall, which would have come from entertaining the Blades in front of the TV cameras.
But Jepson extended his challenge to every fringe member of the squad – including Tuesday night’s goalscorer Shaun Harrad – calling for them to prove their worth in training before Bury’s next League Two match at home to fellow strugglers Northampton Town on Saturday week.
“We’ll have a head count then carry on working on what we believe they can get better at,” said Jepson.
“We’ll keep doing that and if they perhaps aren’t good enough or they don’t come to the fore then we’ll have to look at bringing other people in.”
With striker Danny Nardiello ineligible for the cup replay after being signed on loan after the original tie was due to be played, Harrad was handed a rare start against Cambridge and repaid his manager’s faith by scoring his first goal in 15 matches.
“Talk’s cheap at times,” added Jepson.
“When you’re not in the team people say they should be in the team so they had points to prove.
“But Shaun worked hard, he got his goal and could maybe have had another one.”
While the future of a number of Jepson’s players is in doubt, the caretaker boss, who has been given until January to prove he is the right man for the full-time position, admits the length of his time in charge also remains unclear.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in January, we’ll have to wait and see,” he added.
“We’ll see what ideas the club has going forward.”
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