Ryan Lowe has raised many eyebrows to those in the football world over Christmas, with his management choices in a variety of ways. Whether they have had the required impact can only be seen long term, yet Bury again struggled on the road this festive season.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, The Bury boss announced he would not be running a training session on Christmas Day, a choice not common in English football. Instead, choosing to monitor the players’ workouts using a GPS heart monitor and a 30-minute training workout.
A day later a whole host of changes at Mansfield were made as players including Callum McFadzean, Captain Neil Danns and Nicky Maynard were left on the bench as rare starts in the league were given to so-called ‘squad players’ in the side.
The reason for the changes were put to ‘squad rotation’ and ‘niggles and injuries’, still the eleven put out couldn’t record an away win and Bury are still left with a total of only three away wins in the league all season after 25 games.
At table propers Notts County Lowe rotated the squad again, but Bury were fortunate to leave Meadow Lane with a point as County man Jon Stead missed a 12 yard spot kick for the home side skying the ball over the bar.
After just one point from a possible six, and one from nine counting Oldham who sacked Frankie Bunn less than fortnight after Bury were beaten 4-2 at Boundary Park. Now Bury have it all to do against Crewe on New Years Day, yet the Cheshire side know they’re in for a tough afternoon.
Gigg Lane has proved to be a fortress so far this season, no team since Carlisle in September have left North Manchester with a win. The Shakers will look to make it a happy new year as they say goodbye to 2018 which saw the club relegated from League One and a takeover in the boardroom with Steve Dale replacing Stewart Day as chairman in December.
Despite financial losses in 2018 off the pitch, Bury are in for a promotion race in the New Year, and with 10 points separating MK Dons in Second to Grimsby in 13th, League Two should be a league to watch very closely.
However as we head into The New Year, Bury will be a team you’d want to back down the bookies for promotion, the home form being their biggest calling card. Upcoming games against leaders Lincoln and MK Dons under the home lights should test their promotion metal.
Out with the old and into the new. Bury can finally look to a promising twelve months under Dale and Lowe, with many opportunities to be grasped in 2019. Compared to twelve months ago, this is something to cheer for.