Bring it on: Fearless Flitcroft backs Bury to beat League Two’s best ahead of crunch Southend trip

Bury manager David Flitcroft is defiant about the club’s fearless mentality ahead of visit to Southend United.

The ex-Barnsley boss faces a tough battle against Phil Brown’s play-offs-chasing side, although the Shakers go into the game on the back of just one defeat in their last nine league matches.

Flitcroft will take his side to Roots Hall in a buoyant mood, following encouraging back-to-back draws against promotion contenders Fleetwood and Rochdale and he believes the club can now compete with the best the division has to offer.

“I’m not going to lose sight of where we are at,” the ex-Barnsley manager told the Bury FC YouTube channel.

“We have taken on all the top teams and only one of them (Chesterfield) has beaten us, so we don’t fear anyone in this league.”

Southend, who sit in the final play-off spot on 51 points, just 12 behind League Two leaders Chesterfield, have been challenging at the top all season, but Flitcroft insists his side are fully prepared for the challenge.

“I watched them (Southend) against Morecambe,” he said.

“We’ve got a gameplan that we have been working on and will try to put that in place down at Southend.”

Despite their recent resurgence, the new Shakers’ chief has seen his side drop down to 19th place, only four points clear of Northampton Town who sit in the final relegation spot.

Their hosts have had a disappointing run of form, collecting only six points in their last 10 league games.

The Shakers last three encounters with the Shrimpers have ended in 1-1 draws, the most recent in September where Anton Forrester rescued a point for Bury in the final minute after a first-half goal from Southend defender Ben Corker.

Ahead of the weekend clash, Flitcroft has fresh injury concerns over loan striker Anton Forrester and captain Craig Jones.

However, he has ruled out additions to the club’s forward line, preferring instead to challenge his current squad members to ‘knuckle down’ for the crucial game.

“We have looked high and low, but is someone going to let a goalscorer go at this stage of the season? No chance,” the 40-year-old said.

“Goalscorers, creative spark, magicians – if they are flying and if they are playing well then they are not coming to Bury or going to Rochdale or Chesterfield.

“You will get a defender or a midfield player, but a striker in form? You’re not getting one of them.

“So we have got to make sure we knuckle down with this group and keep staying unbeaten.”

Flitcroft has brought about a dramatic improvement at the club but has urged expectant fans to remember just how far they have come under his guidance.

 “I don’t take progression lightly because this place was in turmoil and I think that has been swept under the carpet somehow,” he said.

“We were in a real mess and I think people sometimes take what has been done for granted, but I certainly won’t allow my players to do that.”

Whatever happens over the next few weeks in crunch matches, Flitcroft is eager to assure supporters that the future of the club is very positive.

“We are still only 10 weeks into this journey and I will design a team that wins matches,” he said.

“We’ve got to design this football and possession with a purpose is what we are trying to instil into this group of players.

“We’ve got to keep progressing. We’ve got to keep getting better.”

Image courtesy of Bury FC via Youtube, with thanks

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