David Lee: Bury manager's role would be my perfect job
DAVID Lee says the Bury manager’s role would be his “perfect job” and is interested in talking with the Shakers owners about the position.
The Wanderers Under-18s coach has stopped short of sending in his CV, but admits he would “jump at the chance” of managing his boyhood club.
“I am a lifelong Shakers fan and they were my first club as a player so, for me, managing Bury would be my perfect job,” said the 45-year-old former Bury winger.
“I have not applied for the position because I have a job working for Bolton Wanderers.
“But I have never made any secret of my ambition to manage a Football League club, and if the Bury owners approached my bosses here at Bolton in the correct manner then I would be more than happy to talk to them.
“In fact, I would be there like a shot.”
David Lee, who was born in Whitefield, scored 35 goals in 208 appearances for Bury between 1986 and 1991, helping them to the Third Division play-offs in 1990 and 1991, when they lost out to Tranmere and Wanderers, respectively, in the semi-finals.
He moved to Wanderers via Southampton in 1992, spending five successful years at the club under Bruce Rioch and Colin Todd.
But despite eventually returning back to the Reebok as assistant academy director in 2008, guiding the Under-18s to the quarter-finals last season, he has clearly retained an affection for the Shakers.
Lee was at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night to watch Bury’s 0-0 draw with Mansfield, along with a host of other candidates linked to the vacant manager’s role.
Chorley boss Garry Flitcroft, City legend Shaun Goater and former Shakers centre-back Efe Sodje were all in attendance.
Jimmy Bell, right-hand man to former Accrington boss John Coleman, who has made public his desire to take the role, was also at the match.
Clearly, there is strong competition for the position, with Bury chairman Stewart Day revealing he has received more than 40 applications.
But Lee’s hand was strengthened yesterday when bookies’ favourite Sammy McIlroy told The Bolton News he not applied for the job or been approached by the club.
Caretaker boss Ronnie Jepson remains the front runner, although Bury have only earned a point in his first two matches in charge.
Whoever is appointed as Kevin Blackwell’s replacement, Bury captain Andy Procter has warned that time is of the essence as the Shakers slip further into a League Two relegation battle.
Tuesday night’s point did move them up two places in the table to 20th, but they remain just one point above the drop zone, having failed to score in their last four games or win in their last nine.
“I think the lads would like to see it sorted,” said Procter.
“As players, we have been kept in the dark. Credit to the lads, they have all been really professional and all respected Jepo (Ronnie Jepson) stepping up as gaffer.
“All we can do is be professional, train in the right way and try to get results on the pitch.
“At the minute we are all fighting to impress the new gaffer, whether that is Jepo or someone else.
“But the league table doesn’t lie. Things have got to change as quickly as possible.”
Other names thought to be in the frame include former Newcastle winger Nolberto Solano, while Steve Kean is one man who can now be discounted after the former Blackburn coach, who was understood to be interested in the job, accepted a new coaching role in Brunei over the weekend.
Procter, however, joined team-mates Tom Soares and Shaun Harrad in backing Jepson for the permanent manager’s role.
“The way Jepo and Futch (development squad coach Ben Futcher) prepared us this week was exceptional,” he said.
“I’d like to think the fans can see all the boys are really behind them.
“Whether he is in for the job or not, I don’t know, I can only speak on what I have seen this week.
“The way he has dealt with the situation – coming in at a difficult period, getting all the lads together, preparing them for two difficult matches – is a credit to him.”
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