With Bury enjoying a six-game unbeaten run in League Two, the mood amongst Bury fans is on the up. I decided to find out exactly how and why Bury’s form has improved over the past few weeks and who better than to speak with than Peter Taylor- The founder of ‘Bury Me In Exile‘ website and Twitter account @burymeinexile.
How has life been so far for you and all the Bury fans in League Two?
Pretty good, all things considered. At the start of the season, many fans said they’d have been satisfied with a 22nd place finish which wasn’t surprising after last season.
August was a strange month as there were three consecutive away defeats yet the margins were very fine which gave us hope, as two of the three teams we played were favourites to go up.
Since then there’s only be one defeat in the league (Carlisle at home) but the most important thing is its been enjoyable to watch the team play – it’s been a while since I said that.
The Shakers are now unbeaten in six games, what has the reason been for the upturn in form?
Finding a tactical formula that’s worked with a largely unchanged eleven. Ryan Lowe says its far from perfect yet he’s changed things around in recent weeks.
There hasn’t been a single player Bury have had to rely on in terms of taking chances. The defending at the back and the continuous work rate of the strikers have masked the lack of steel and numbers in midfield.
How instrumental has Nicky Maynard been since his arrival at the club?
I was sceptical about Maynard’s arrival due to the number of strikers we already had (Seven) and his match fitness levels. Yet Maynard seems to have found his niche already.
The contract extension has come at the right time. The goal he scored against Newport was as a good a goal as I’ve seen from a player in Bury colours. There are going to be times when he doesn’t get his just rewards but he has the quality to finish when he gets half the chance. What’s been most impressive has been his work rate and movement.
Are you more confident of promotion now than at the start of the season?
I thought promotion was unlikely back in August and had us in a large bracket of teams who could make the playoffs. We have more points on the board now than I anticipated at the start of the season.
A greater level of consistency is expected and we need to turn draws into wins. Our squad is capable of a tilt at the top three, yet you could say that for most teams in League Two. We need to win games and points when we are ‘second best’ however that’s been few and far between.
What have you made of Lowe’s early life in management?
He has quietly gone about his business quietly but he hasn’t promised us the moon. His inclusion of the U18’s has been good, but I’d like to see more involvement in matches outside the Checkatrade Trophy.
He didn’t panic when we were struggling in August yet philosophical about good and bad form. He has pledged to play attacking football and he has delivered on that, with the front six generally being good from a technical point.
Central midfield remains the weakest areas of concern where we only have Stephen Dawson who is a reliable ball winner. I wouldn’t count on him being there at the end of the next transfer window.
Between now and the end of the season, who will be Bury’s most important player?
Callum McFadzean. He is the best player from a tactical standpoint and crucial to the way Lowe wants to play.
The reason I’ve chosen McFadzean is there isn’t another player at the club who can perform his role in the team, not without switching Nicky Adams onto the left.
More of a winger than a fullback, he’s improved game on game his understanding with Mayor. He still needs to work on the defensive side of his game to improve yet at the other end of the field, he has better end product than Greg Leigh did, for instance, hopefully, he will sign a new contract next summer.
Would you rather have an FA Cup run or a Checkatrade trophy win at Wembley?
The former without question. Bury must learn from the shambles against Woking last season and not treat our opponents Dover lightly in the opening round. However, there is no reason as to why we can’t put a run together.
In my time supporting the club I’ve never seen us play an elite Premier League club, I missed the 1992/93 game against Manchester United as I wasn’t following the club back then.
The new Wembley doesn’t have the same draw that the old stadium did, for example with Tottenham Hotspur playing their home games at Wembley.
And finally your views on the Checkatrade trophy?
Now it’s only beneficial for the younger youth team players as they get competitive exposure.
The inclusion of category 1 U23’s sides is one of the main reasons for the poor attendance figures, yet as long as the competition is financially rewarding for League 1 and 2 clubs, it’s hard to see the situation changing anytime soon.