DAVID Flitcroft has no problem going into the new season with his Shakers side being billed as favourites for League Two promotion.
Former Barnsley midfielder Kelvin Etuhu became the latest head-turning summer signing last week, prompting the bookmakers to slash their odds on Bury, now down as far as 7-4 with some companies.
But Flitcroft reckons his players should wear the favourites tag as a badge of pride as the August 9 kick-off approaches.
“Pressure should be embraced,” he told The Bolton News.
“It should be a privilege. I am in a very privileged position being the manger of this football club, particularly with the support I have been given from the chairman and my staff.
“So you won’t find me complaining if people look at our squad and think we have a chance because I agree with them.
“There is still a lot of work to be done here. I think everyone understands that.
“But we are all in it for the long term. We want to back it up.”
Etuhu is Bury’s seventh summer signing, following the return of former favourtites Ryan Lowe and Nicky Adams, re-signing of former loan players Danny Mayor and Chris Hussey, and the captures of Chorley defender Keil O’Brien and Bournemouth stopper Shwan Jalal.
The 26-year-old midfielder will add to the experienced core of the camp, with almost 100 games at Premier League and Championship-level under his belt, but former Manchester United forward Ashley Grimes could soon be heading out of the JD Stadium.
While still training with the club, the transfer-listed striker is understood to be considering offers from a couple of League Two sides, with Bury’s first opponents of the season – Cheltenham Town – thought to be heading the queue.
For the second summer in a row, Robins manager Mark Yates is chasing the signature of Grimes, who joined Bury on a free transfer last year after being released by Rochdale.
The 27-year-old initially agreed to join Cheltenham a year ago, but changed his mind at the 11th hour to sign a two-year deal with the Shakers.
But a combination of injuries and poor form saw him make only 18 appearances and he finished the campaign without scoring.