TWO months since arriving at the JD Stadium and I would say David Flitcroft’s team is now taking shape.
Things have really started to click into place over the course of the transfer window, with the new signings having a real impact on recent results.
But even more key to the personnel is the team’s organisation – they look like a real unit now.
Every member of the team looks to be clear about their roles and responsibilities.
The back three all look as if they know what to do with the football and are all comfortable in possession.
Both wide defenders split to their flanks as soon as the goalkeeper receives the ball and the build-up play starts from there. Possession is key to Flitcroft’s tactics – the more the opposition chase the ball, the quicker they will tire and Bury should come into their own as matches unfold.
The 3-4-3 system relies heavily on the work put in by the wing-backs, Craig Jones and Chris Sedgwick, who have to put in a real shift to cover the flanks from defence to attack.
They always provide the out ball, as well as the cover, and I have been really impressed with the energy and enthusiasm they have shown.
Tommy Miller is the fulcrum in the centre of midfield – everything goes through him. He is always there to receive the ball, and is perfect for that role as he loves to keep things simple.
Andrew Tutte, Miller’s new midfield partner, and Ashley Grimes, who has slotted into the attacking midfield role behind the front two, provide the drive.
Grimes looks to be playing a more disciplined role in the centre, while Tutte has been given licence to roam to find the space.
They also interchange nicely, showing the kind of movement that will be key if teams, like Oxford did on Tuesday, decide to sit in and defend.
Both strikers look to be willing runners and Anton Forrester looks to be playing with real freedom on the shoulder of the last man.
Opposition will, of course, work out the system and Bury will have to be adaptable to meet different challenges over the course of the season.
Key to their progress will be the speed of their attacks.
It is very difficult on a heavy pitch at the JD to move the ball quickly, but the players will have to be brave, try to only take one touch and keep up the tempo if they are to hurt teams that turn up just to defend.