PLAYERS with a point to prove dominated David Flitcroft’s post-match press conference following Bury’s 1-1 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Brian Jensen, full-back Chris Hussey and midfielder Andy Procter all played key roles in extending the Shakers’ unbeaten home record to nine games under Flitcroft’s leadership.
Each player went into the game following a spell on the sidelines, and the Bury boss wants the rest of his squad to show the same fight in tonight’s match at Newport County.
“When you are in the team you are not tested,” said Flitcroft. “You are always tested when you are out of the squad.
“What are you prepared to give to the squad? That’s what I always look at in my players and what I want to see is professionalism.”
Flitcroft believes he has seen that in Jensen, especially.
The 39-year-old stopper was hauled off at half time at Southend and then dropped in favour of teenager Reice Charles-Cook for the 2-1 defeat at Torquay United, but returned on Saturday to make some telling blocks against Dagenham.
“We’ve had clear-the-air talks and Jens knows exactly what I want from him,” said Flitcroft, after discussing his concerns over the keeper’s distribution.
“Sometimes just coming out of it you can just see a different picture, and I think he’s seen a different picture.
“Jens is a top guy and he was excellent (against Dagenham). I’ve learned a lot about Jens, Jens has learned a lot about me and we move on.”
Hussey was also dropped after a below-par first start for the club at Southend following his loan move from Burton Albion.
But the 24-year-old defender returned to put in a man-of-the-match performance on his home debut on Saturday, scoring and putting in a string of telling crosses and set-pieces.
“The first three or four days I thought I had got the wrong Hussey and I’ve told him that,” said the Bury boss.
“But over the last four or five days I have been happy with his performance and I think there is at least 30 per cent more to come with Huss.”
Hussey’s late corner very nearly provided Bury with a deserved winner against Dagenham, but Procter’s header cannoned down off the crossbar and bounced just the wrong side of the line.
It was tough on the central midfielder after coming on as a second-half substitute for his first game time in 10 matches.
“It would have been fitting if he had scored that goal because he has kept himself game ready,” said Flitcroft.
“But all the lads were in a good mental state against Dagenham, and I will be demanding more of the same for what will be a tough trip to Newport.”
Bury have no new injury concerns, while both Tom Soares (hamstring) and Tommy Miller (ankle and thigh) will be pushing for a return.