ROOKIE goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook is eager for a second taste of league football at Torquay tonight following his surprise introduction in the second-half at Southend on Saturday.
The 19-year-old replaced experienced stopper Brian Jensen after the break at Roots Hall as part of a tactical switch to help the Shakers retain possession.
Manager David Flitcroft was unimpressed with the 39-year-old Dane’s distribution. And while the bold move did not backfire, as Bury held on to a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw, it is unclear whether the Shakers boss will continue with the youngster in their Plainmoor relegation battle.
Bury have games on hand of their rivals, but remain just four points above the drop zone in 17th position.
Defeat would put them right back into trouble, but Charles-Cook is unfazed by the pressure and maintains he is ready if called upon.
“I loved every minute of it and just want more and more,” said the former Arsenal trainee, who was cheered on by his extended family among the 181 Bury supporters behind his goal at Roots Hall.
“When you get loads of fans screaming at you, it is a really good feeling.
“Some people crumble, but I seemed to thrive on it.
“Having my family there helped, though.
“For my granddad, my mum, my dad and my little brothers to see my league debut, it was an unreal feeling.”
Flitcroft faces more than one selection headache for the visit to League Two’s bottom club.
Bury’s top two strikers both missed the trip to Southend, with Anton Forrester sent back to parent club Blackburn Rovers following a season-ending knee injury and Daniel Nardiello not risked after picking up a muscle strain against Fleetwood Town.
Flitcroft could also be without midfielder Tommy Miller, who is rated 50-50 with a thigh strain and ankle knock, while captain Craig Jones (hamstring) is still a week or two away from a return.
The Bury boss had already been in the market for attacking reinforcements but admitted last week he had all but given up hope of finding any last-minute loan deals.
It now looks as if he will have to make one final search following Nardiello’s injury scare, but the 40-year-old coach believes he will probably have to find an alternative solution on the training ground.
“It’s no good moaning about it – it’s happened,” he said.
“It’s up to me as a coach to make sure we get results and if I can’t bring players in, I’ve got to try to shape a team to do that.
“So we might have to look at a different system, maybe playing one striker while we are down on bodies.”