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JAMIE HOYLAND: Now is the time to plan for next season
BURY fans on their way into the JD Stadium on Tuesday night were telling me how massive the game against Bristol Rovers was, but I told them: “The Shakers sorted it on Saturday.”
All of the pressure that was building before the Northampton match just fell away after that victory.
Following up their 3-0 win against the Cobblers with victory on Tuesday night just underlined the fact that their League Two future is now sealed – and I couldn’t be happier for them, especially the chairman, Stewart Day.
Not many managers are given free rein to build a squad from scratch but he has basically allowed both Kevin Blackwell and then David Flitcroft to do that this season and you have got to admire him for that.
He has backed both men to the hilt, put his money where his mouth is and, thank goodness, it has paid off.
This week’s back-to-back wins have given Bury time – time to start planning for next season and inject some much-needed stability into the playing squad.
To think that Manchester City have only used 23 players this season, while a League Two club like Bury has had more than 40 take to the field is absolutely staggering.
Clearly, that situation cannot continue.
What Flickers needs to do now is create a tight unit of players that will give him options but also a viable chance of promotion.
First things first, he will have to sort out which members of his current squad he wants to keep who are on short-term deals.
I think Danny Mayor has a year left on his contract at Sheffield Wednesday, but I am sure the manager will be desperate to keep the young winger at the club.
He has been at the heart of most of the good things Bury have been doing over the past few weeks and would be a great permanent addition.
Hallam Hope is another one. I have seen a lot of him playing for Everton Under-21s and I think there is possibly a deal to be done there for a season-long loan.
He can score as many goals as he wants in the u21s, but none of that compares to the experience of proper league football that Bury can offer him.
Burton loan defender Chris Hussey is another young player who Flickers could well want to tie up, and then there is Pablo Mills. The centre-back, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, has been immense and I am sure he will top the Bury manager’s shopping list.
Get those deals done early and Bury will already be in good shape for the next campaign.
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