IT is amazing what a bit of festive cheer can do.
The battling Boxing Day draw against Scunthorpe United set the tone, before wins at home to York and away at Hartlepool ensured the celebrations went with a bang rather than a whimper.
Anton Forrester’s quick-fire goal to set up a 2-1 victory over York followed a superb flowing move, the likes of which fans have not seen at the JD Stadium for some time.
And to follow that up with an impressive 3-0 triumph in the North East on New Year’s Day quite rightly changed everybody’s focus from the relegation battle up to the other end of the table.
Those performances – not just the results – have completely changed the mood around the place, with Brian Jensen even dreaming of promotion.
In a way, the players will have just wanted to get straight into their next game, but the weekend’s break will have allowed the players a chance to recharge their batteries and put in a few more training sessions with their new boss.
For me, the last few games have really underlined the fact that a new era has begun at Bury.
David Flitcroft has quickly put his own stamp on the side. He may not have had the chance to bring in too many of his own players yet, but he has ruffled a few feathers, changed the playing style and the results have already started to come.
It looks as if he has decided to build his new-look team around Tommy Miller and I think that has already paid dividends.
All the negativity hanging over from Kevin Blackwell’s time at Bury has been replaced by a much more positive outlook – in the dressing room as well as on the pitch.
That feeling had already started to spread to the terraces before results catapulted the Shakers up the table, but seeing them move clear of the relegation zone can only help the positivity to spread.
When any team makes a move up the table, it creates a kind of ripple effect – people start to take notice.
But to do it while playing an exciting, attacking brand of football, well that can only be good for attendances in the long run.
I know Flickers has likened the style of football played in this division to rugby, but he has already shown you can get the ball down and still get results.
It is something Shakers supporters have not been used to of late – Blackwell’s teams were taught to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and hope for the best.
But those days are gone now, and that can only bode well for the future.