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Ryan Lowe’s Two Huge Games in a Crunch Four Days for Bury

Ryan Lowe has taken to management this season like a duck to water but, will need to see steer his side over two giant hurdles. When his Bury side takes on local rivals, Oldham Athletic and then Portsmouth in The Checkatrade semi-final only a few days later.

Although Bury will be underdogs in next Tuesday’s crunch semi-final.  Opponents Portsmouth will come up against an attacking outfit that has outclassed virtually all of their League Two rivals, since the start of the season.

Having scored 85 goals in all competitions this season, the place for football entertainment has been no other than Gigg Lane. Lowe having played as a striker himself has made it no secret in wanting to promote an all-out attack style of play, and his tactics have been merited with Bury’s current league position.

A home win on Saturday could see the Shakers leapfrog Lincoln to the summit of League Two, something which looked unlikely after January’s end to end 3-3 draw. Having had his style of football backed by non-other than Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, this way of playing had every chance of proving to be successful.

And The German has been proved correct so far with the way that Bury have played this season, now in second place in League Two and four points clear of MK Dons who occupy the leading playoff spot (4th place).

Having also picked the brains of Brendan Rodgers and Rafa Benitez, lifelong reds fan Lowe has already had a vocal taste of what a successful life of a manager is like. Benitez having won the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool and, Rodgers dominating Scottish football to the point he’s won the ‘double treble’ in Scotland since moving North of the border in 2016.

Now Lowe has the chance to secure his own success as a manager. A win against either, or both Oldham and Portsmouth – would take his side closer to putting a trophy back in the Bury trophy cabinet, league or domestic cup.


Lowe’s Wise Moves In January Could Be Key To League One Football Next Season

The unusual yet charming bond between Bury and Rangers struck again on deadline day, as Bury saw off ‘two Scottish Premiership clubs’ to sign midfielder Jordan Rossiter on loan until the end of the season.

Deadline day just wouldn’t feel right without a new player coming through the door and Rossiter decided on a move South of the border to end this current season. Having watched the pulsating 3-3 draw with Lincoln City last Saturday, the Rangers man felt he just couldn’t say no at the possibility of a loan move to Bury.

Rossiter grew up and spent his early playing days in the Liverpool academy. The return to the North West will therefore bring Bury’s newest addition closer to home. Rossiter was no slouch in the Anfield set-up and, has played under Brendan Rodgers whilst he was still part of the club before Jurgen Klopp joined in 2015.

Rossiter’s early career has been plagued with injury mostly but will plan to become a permanent fixture on the pitch for Bury rather than the treatment room. Another midfield option seemed rather necessary this window as Bury head onto the home straight.

The 21-year-old will look to become a permanent fixture in the side but will need to shake off a ‘sick note’ tag, which looks to be the only question mark against this signing. Its been frustrating at times for Rossiter having only made 16 appearances for Rangers since his arrival in 2016.

What certainly isn’t frustrating, however, is Bury’s growing force in the transfer market as Ryan Lowe secured his second Rangers signing of the season. The initial addition was Jamie Barjonas who is now back in Scotland following on from his loan stay at Bury.

Rossiter isn’t the only January arrival to the side however. Scott Wharton has also joined the side from Blackburn Rovers this season, he too is on-loan until the season is out and the same age as Rossiter.

Wharton is back in League Two as quickly as he left it,  having started his season at leaders Lincoln making 16 appearances. Lowe’s willingness to add depth to the squad seems appropriate, especially seen as Bury also have The Checkatrade Trophy to fight for between now and May alongside their league form which, all being well, could lead to promotion.

It’s Clear Bury AND Lincoln Will Need to Strengthen Next Season to Thrive in League One

The fixture of Bury vs Lincoln City is likely to be given a second helping in the 2019/20 season of football. The most likely outcome is the game will take place in League One rather than League Two.

For having seen two of three teams in the automatic playoff places pit against each other only two days ago, to talk about one is to talk about the other almost.

Both with young managers who encourage open, expansive football, it was little wonder we were treated to such a spectacle. A total of 22 shots on goal at either end which saw six goals scored, it was no surprise that either team played a type of football which merited better than the soggy playing surface and worse for wear conditions.

Yet despite an end to end attacking fixture, it will leave both Ryan Lowe and Danny Cowley believing that more is needed to do, in order to fix a set of teams that are capable of leaving the back door open at times.

Lincoln only managed three shots on target in the game and had were dominated in possession by The Shakers, their third goal was ever so slightly dodgy however. In defence of the Shakers back line, Callum McFadzean was adjudged to have brought down Imps player Harry Anderson in the box where Lincoln striker John Akinde thought he’d scored the winner.

Soft penalty? Yes. It defiantly needed a fair few looks on the replay to give a clear cut decision.  Needn’t so the Shakers found themeless trailing again and their goals against tally had racked up to 36 by seven thirty pm. Second place Mansfield have let in 14 fewer.

The same could be said at the other end of course. Lincoln are by no means rock solid at the back, but still have the best goal difference in the league. Now 5 clear of Mansfield with a game in hand over Bury, they look are most likely uncatchable. But Bury can draw many positives as several times they managed to split the Lincoln defence.

Their Boss Cowley stated post-match that his side are better ‘with and without the ball’ yet ‘Bury are very good with but not as good without it’. A note to his colleague on the positives and negatives of this style, one of the reasons they are probably on the same page in terms of style and management.

Lowe’s encouragement of attacking football in the EFL should always be applauded and would have been seconded by the neutral. The only problem with this game was Millwall’s giant-killing over Everton was played at exactly the same time and may have stolen a few viewers more as part of the terrestrial TV.

However good the open football was, it took a good old set piece for the home side to steal a point through centre back Will Aimson. Part of a back three by Lowe which contains two wing backs which play virtually as wingers, it’s no surprise to see them a tad exposed at times. Yet Aimson deserved his goal after an impressive display.

But there is no doubt Lowe will work to solve this problem of course. He can take Bury to League One playing this current way as the last 30 games suggest. But a bit of defensive work this summer may not go amiss.

Oldham Defeat Means Lowe Will Start to Ponder Bury’s Away Form

On Friday I wrote about how Bury were ready to make a charge for promotion automatically, missing out on those pesky playoffs. Three days later I won’t now start saying the Shakers are suddenly in a crisis.

However, even the most loyal Bury fan would admit going 3-0 after just thirty minutes was pretty alarming, especially in a local derby against an Oldham side who began the day outside the top twelve.

When finding out nearest rivals Colchester had also been thumped 4-0 by Carlisle, the away dressing room at Boundary Park would have had smoke whistling out of the windows.

Yet the away dressing room hasn’t always been a happy place for the Shakers this season. More recently the atmosphere may be getting just a bit worse. After a penalty save against Exeter only seven days previously, Joe Murphy had an afternoon to forget, Oldham’s fourth goal is certainly a moment he won’t want to relive.

The Shakers have dominated virtually all their games this season until Saturday’s derby, therefore this may have just been a ‘bad day at the office’. However, with both sides operating in a 4-4-2 formation, Oldham found themselves in dreamland with Latics manager Frankie Bunn winning out on the tactical battle.

But Bury’s defence certainly has a fair few weaknesses. Chris Stokes at left back looks a particularly weak link for example and there are times when –  should the Shakers end the season with promotion – this defence could need investment.

Whereas Jose Mourinho can spend millions upon millions on a back line in the January transfer if afforded such luxuries by those above him. Ryan Lowe is not quite as fortunate, yet will have to work out where best to play Eoghan O’Connell and find Bury’s strongest centre-back partnerships amongst a fair few defenders.

Away from home though and Bury aren’t quite having the same luck. In 11 away league games, Bury have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 5. Something similar in 2019 and the Shakers will struggle to make the top three or need an over-reliance on their performances at Gigg Lane.

That might not be such a worry though in this season so far, as 7 wins in 11 have been topped up. For now, there should be no reason to worry, yet the hectic schedule over Christmas may be more telling.

For now, Lowe will hope some festive joy can do away with the ever-increasing away day blues.

The Importance of Tonight’s Checkatrade Game For Bury

Bury’s cup game against David Flitcroft’s Mansfield tonight may not have the same ring to it as the FA Cup game against Luton Town just two days ago, but tonight’s Checkatrade game will no doubt offer the Shakers there best ever chance of getting to Wembley.

The Checkatrade isn’t a fan favourite with many fans of League One or Two, attendances at Gigg Lane this season would suggest this competition can’t quite put bums on seats and attract fans other than the core following.  No more than a few hundred fans have seen Bury take on Leicester 21’s and Fleetwood Town so far this season.

With another round of Premier League fixtures today and tomorrow, The Checkatrade won’t exactly be the biggest talking point over the next few days in the media.

However, the better Bury do in this competition the new Wembley and a game under the arch will certainly be whispered a lot louder with fans and board members alike. Such the importance of tonight’s tie in Nottinghamshire.

It may only be the second round of fixtures, yet Ryan Lowe’s men will not want another defeat to their name.

This competition has seen Bury blood in the youngsters of the squad and the likes of Dom Telford hit the ground running in the team with three goals in three games.

Lowe suggested after Sunday’s defeat that Bury was never going to win the FA Cup anyway,  yet there is no denying the Checkatrade can certainly open up doors for Bury over the next few months.

More wins in this event will equal more TV money for the club no doubt, something the FA and Carabao Cup provides. The Shakers haven’t always had the greatest days in domestic cup games. Tonight’s game offers the perfect chance to change that record and for the Bury fans to say the name of Wembley just a little bit louder.

Bury fan Q&A With Roch Valley Commentator Adam Clark

Ahead of arguably Bury’s biggest game of the season so far in their FA Cup second-round game against Luton Town. This week I spoke to lifelong Bury fan and match day commentator for Roch Valley Radio Adam Clark, to hear about his thoughts for Sunday’s game. I also spoke about Adam’s views on the Shakers so far this season from the commentary box.

So then Adam, for the first time in four years Bury find themselves back in the fourth tier of English football. How has life been for you and your fellow supporters?

The table should tell you the answer to that! Life has been very good to be honest: Top scorers in the division, only one game lost at home all season. In Danny Mayor, we have arguably the league’s best player, to the point he’s being compared to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

How happy are you with the attacking brand of football Lowe has brought to the side?

Very! Ryan Lowe was a striker himself, so it’s no surprise to see us playing an attractive brand of football. Goals are coming all over the pitch from so many players. Mayor being one and Jay O’Shea is adding to the total from midfield also is a massive bonus, when on the rare occasion Nicky Maynard fires a blank!

How confident are you of promotion, with the side lying 5th in the table after 20 games?

It’s still early in the season to tempt fate about promotion yet, but we are certainly in a good position to make the playoff spots if nothing else.

What have you made of Ryan Lowe the manager? Are you confident of a long-term stay?

Ryan has been great as a manager so far. He always comes across great to us in the media post-match when we get the chance to ask him a few questions. We are playing some great football under the Liverpudlian at present. If things continue to go well, I’m certainly confident of a long-term stay.

Do you think Eoghan O’Connell deserves a run back in the side having struggled through injury so far this season?

If the manager thinks he’s good enough to be in the team, I’d certainly give him run. He’s played well in recent games at centre midfield to warrant a place in the starting eleven.

A win against Luton on Sunday will take The Mighty Shakers to the third round of the Cup! Who do you fancy should the shakers overcome Luton?

Any Premier League team away from home would be nice, especially one of the leagues ‘big six’.  I also wouldn’t mind a game against our local rivals Bolton as they are in poor form at present.

Finally, can you put your money where your mouth is and give me your prediction for Sunday’s game?

Of course! 3-1 to us with goals coming from Jay O’Shea, Dom Telford, and Nicky Maynard

You can listen to Adam Clark on Roch Valley Radio every Friday night from 7-8. He also commentates on every home match for the Shakers.

Follow him on Twitter at @adamc433 

Another Four-Star Display By The Shakers, Are Fans Right to Start to Get Carried Away?

Bury are flying in League Two at the moment, Ryan Lowe has got the Shakers ticking and scoring for fun. Having scored four goals plus for four of the six November matches – Scoring two and three in the other games.

Sitting in fifth place, a playoff place should we add. Everything is looking rosy at the Energy Check Stadium.

After an uncomfortable start following last seasons relegation from League One, September came around and things have clicked into gear for Lowe’s men. Nicky Maynard is firing them in with his eight goals and two assists so far, followed by Moore (6 Goals), O’Shea (6 Goals) and Danny Mayor with his five goals and five assists providing the much-needed help a team needs in a race for promotion.

Is this early form enough to let the loyal Bury fans dream of promotion come to the end of the season, or is it too early for that type of talk with us not even reaching the halfway point of the campaign yet?

Lowe seems to have already gained that much-needed momentum. His 3-5-2 formation is working, and he has players on his hands with the quality of standards higher than the fourth tier of English Football.

The Shakers have slowly started to grease the wheel, after taking them a few games to come to terms with life in a lower division.

Furthermore, Bury may be ten points behind leaders at the moment MK Dons, but they are just two points behind third-placed Colchester, who they have already beat 2-1 earlier in the season.

If I was a betting man, my money would be on the Shakers to be playing League One football next season already. They look white hot, however, December will be a make or break month as they go head to head with teams in and around them.

Should they go into January still within the top seven places, Bury fans would be right to think thier dream is going to be a reality…

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