Lenny aiming to emulate his skipper
LENELL John-Lewis hailed the performance of captain Steven Schumacher after the club’s top scorer rifled in his eighth goal of the season to earn Bury a point at MK Dons.
That made it four in the last six games for Schumacher, but the 23-year-old striker has vowed to put the prolific midfielder in the shade by weighing in with some goals of his own.
He said: “We were just saying in the dressing room that we can’t remember who the last person to score was apart from Schuey, so it would be nice to take the pressure off him, definitely.”
But he added: “The goals he’s got have been vital and crucial for us, so that’s brilliant.
“He’s been outstanding this season. His workrate is unbelievable, and since I’ve come to the club I’ve always said he’s a great leader.”
John-Lewis would love to follow his lead, but has so far only added two goals this season to his total of 18 since moving to Gigg Lane in August 2010.
His composure in front of goal has let him down in the past, and he missed a great chance to win the match on Saturday, claiming the MK Dons keeper got a touch to deflect his prodded shot wide after being put through by Tom Soares in the 71st minute.
But the youngster believes he has more to offer the team than just goals.
On Saturday, he led the line on his own and was a constant thorn in the side of the MK Dons defenders, using his physical presence to harry them in possession, winning header after header and utilising his pace to get in behind the back-line on more than one occasion.
“It’s football, I’m a striker, I get paid to score goals, but at the end of the day I know I give more to the team than just scoring goals,” he said, after spearheading manager Kevin Blackwell’s tactics on Saturday by defending from the front and bringing Bury’s five-man midfield into play.
“If I’m on the pitch then that’s what I try to do, if I get a goal then that’s a bonus.
“We come prepared – we know our game plan and we know what we’re going to do. The gaffer has organised us well and we’ve put it into effect.”
The former Lincoln forward was also unlucky not to win a first-half penalty, referee Fred Graham giving the foul the other way after John-Lewis was brought down by MK Dons keeper Dave Martin.
“I’ve gone up for the header and he’s 100 per cent pulled me down,” he said.
“I can’t understand how it’s not a penalty; but the referee’s said I’ve jumped into the keeper, that’s his reason.”
As with the penalty and his late chance, luck was again against John-Lewis and his side, conspiring to extend their winless streak to 11 matches, but the young striker believes the hard-earned point could prove crucial in Bury’s fight to beat the League One drop.
It moved the Shakers up to third-bottom and kept them within three points of Scunthorpe in 20th.
“This could turn it,” he said. “We’ve got 19 games to go now and this point could be a turning point. This is a great point away from home.”