BURY’S players are circling the wagons around boss Kevin Blackwell after he admitted his position as manager would come under the microscope following relegation to League Two.

The Shakers travel to play-off chasers Walsall this weekend on the back of a rare victory against fellow strugglers Scunthorpe United in midweek.

But it was a case of closing the door after the horse bolted following their defeat to Oldham last Saturday, which condemned them to relegation following two seasons in the third tier.

Yet stand-in captain David Worrall was quick to defend the job done by Blackwell, who he believes has been undermined by the financial mismanagement of the club since his arrival at Gigg Lane last September.

“I’m sorry for the gaffer and very disappointed in the people above him,” said the 22-year-old midfielder, refering to the ongoing transfer embargo hanging over the club and recent revelations that Bury are close to going out of business.

“He didn’t want this when he first came here. If he would have got told this, would he be here?

“Would anyone want to do it?

“Fair play to him, he’s stuck with it. He could have walked at any point and just said it’s not my problem.

“But he’s stayed and it looks like he’s staying til the end. So fair play to him. I’ve got a lot of time for that.”

Blackwell didn’t attend the press conference following Tuesday night’s win after admitting at the weekend that he would not commit his future to Bury until the ongoing talks with potential investors had been concluded.

But his players were queueing up to offer him their support.

Teenage loan striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, who scored a blistering free-kick in the 2-1 win against the Iron in only his second start since joining the club from Peterborough in January, countered criticism of Blackwell’s refusal to blood him sooner.

“When I first came I wasn’t fit enough,” said the 18-year-old.

“In that space where I’ve been on the bench he’s been getting me fit and he’s definitely developed me as a player.

“I’ve been doing extra sessions so, fair play to him, he’s worked me right and I respect him for that loads.”

Bury should take a squad of 15 players to the Bescot Stadium following the return of defenders Efe Sodje (suspended) and Ethan Ebanks-Landell (virus), but striker Andy Bishop (foot) and goalkeeper Trevor Carson (shoulder) will miss the remaining two games of the season.