KOLO Toure’s embarrassing mistake at West Brom last weekend served as a chilling reminder for Bury defender Jim McNulty of the tightrope he is walking as a ball-playing centre-half.
The Ivorian’s error cost his Liverpool side a valuable two points, and McNulty has warned Shakers fans he is not immune from making a similar mistake.
“The (Bury) manager (David Flitcroft) talks about courage and bravery in possession and that’s got to start from the back,” said the 29-year-old former Barnsley player.
“(Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers defended Kolo Toure for that one loose ball that cost them a goal and our gaffer would have done the same.
“It will happen to us once or twice, that is inevitable, but it is important we understand, while there is risk to the way we are playing football, there is also massive reward as well.”
McNulty’s composure on the ball has been a feature of his play in his first three games for Bury, with his eagerness to retain possession, even in tight spots, proving very effective.
The Shakers went 238 minutes of football since his debut without conceding, finally letting in a goal from a corner in their 1-1 draw against Oxford United on Tuesday night.
The Liverpudlian has had to ride his luck at times though, startling himself, as well as the crowd, after dummying two circling Oxford strikers on the edge of his box before striding out into midfield to launch an attack.
“I don’t really know what’s going through my head at that moment,” said Tuesday night's man of the match.
“Maybe pure panic, I’m not too sure.
“They both sort of closed me down either side of me and neither made a tackle so I just stood still and came out with the ball.”