Shakers survival hopes suffer double blow
BURY’S ranks have dwindled further after goalkeeping coach Fred Barber left to become assistant manager at York City and midfielder Tom Soares was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Barber, who was brought to the club by Peter Shirtliff in a voluntary capacity at the start of the campaign and taken on full-time by current manager Kevin Blackwell, has joined up with Nigel Worthington.
The pair worked together in the Northern Ireland set-up when Worthington was running the national side.
Blackwell said: “I’d like to thank Fred for the time and effort he has put into Bury FC, and for the help and assistance that he has given me while I have been here.
“We all wish him the very best for the future.”
While Barber’s departure will be a big loss for Blackwell, the Bury manager will see Soares’ injury as a bigger blow to the Shakers' chances of staying up.
The 26-year-old former Stoke midfielder has made 17 appearances and scored one goal since joining the club on non-contract terms in November.
“Tom has bleeding behind his hamstring muscles and will probably miss the rest of the season, although the club are hopeful that he may be available for the final couple of games,” said a Bury spokesman.
“He pulled up while attempting to keep a ball in play during Saturday’s game with Crawley Town.
"Should Tom regain his fitness for the final few games of the season, then it will be classed as something of a bonus.”
The Football League’s transfer embargo on Bury means the club will be unable to replace Soares, leaving them with only five recognised midfielders.
It follows on from similarly stark news over loan defender Stephane Zubar’s knee injury, picked up at Notts County last month, although it is possible the Bouremouth centre-back will not be out for the remainder of the campaign, as originally feared.
The club confirmed he was due to meet with a specialist on the South Coast today and were expecting an update before the end of the week.
An alternative defender, Mark Hughes, also faces a lengthy injury lay-off after tearing his calf muscle while playing on loan at Accrington Stanley last week.
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