DAVID Flitcroft is calling on his Bury players to dig in for a season finale that could see them skirt with either promotion or relegation.
The Shakers boss revealed after Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw at home to Fleetwood Town that he had called time on an exhaustive search to recruit new attacking talent.
He ruled out additions to the club’s forward line, despite fresh injury concerns over loan striker Anton Forrester and captain Craig Jones, preferring instead to challenge his current squad members to “knuckle down” for the run-in.
“We have looked high and low, but is someone going to let a goalscorer go at this stage of the season? No chance,” he said.
“Goalscorers, creative spark, magicians – if they are flying and if they are playing well then they are not coming to Bury, or going to Rochdale or Chesterfield.
“You will get a defender or a midfield player, but a striker in form? You’re not getting one of them.
“So we have got to make sure we knuckle down with this group and keep staying unbeaten.”
Flitcroft has led Bury to just one defeat in their last nine matches, but called for a more ruthless edge from his attacking players after last Friday’s 0-0 draw with promotion contenders Rochdale, who played half the match with 10 men.
Leading scorer Daniel Nardiello provided that with both goals against Dale’s promotion rivals Fleetwood.
But Forrester, number two in the scoring charts, limped off with possible knee ligament damage while scans on Jones’s hamstring injury have revealed more serious damage than initially expected.
The club’s leading supply line faces at least another two weeks out of action, leaving Flitcroft short of attacking options.
How they cope with an extended run of Tuesday-Saturday matches will determine whether Bury spend the remainder of the season looking up or over their shoulders.
They go into Saturday’s match at Southend, who sit in the final play-off spot, just 10 points behind Phil Brown’s side and with two games in hand.
But the Shakers are still only four points clear of Northampton Town in the final relegation spot.
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, Flitcroft is eager to remind expectant supporters just how far they have come under his watch.
“I’m not going to lose sight of where we are at. We have taken on all the top teams and only one of them (Chesterfield) has beaten us, so we don’t fear anyone in this league,” he said.
“I don’t take progression lightly because this place was in turmoil and I think that has been swept under the carpet somehow.
“We were in a real mess and I think people sometimes take what has been done for granted, but I certainly won’t allow my players to do that.”