Friendly rivalry - you just can't beat it, says Bury striker Marlon Jackson
YOU may imagine paranoia reigns at a club like Bury, where they have seven strikers champing at the bit to start.
But Marlon Jackson, who came off the bench to score the Shakers’ third goal against Accrington Stanley last Saturday, says he relishes the friendly rivalry.
And the 22-year-old former Bristol City forward is eager to prove to boss Kevin Blackwell he is worthy of a place in the first XI.
“I want to play up through the middle, scoring the goals,” he said.
“I had a chance and put it away, I just need to keep doing that.
“Hopefully, if I keep scoring I may be able to start some games and continue to score.”
If Jackson was under any illusion he was the finished article at Bury, after being given a 12-month contract following a successful trial, then Blackwell was quick to burst his bubble.
After arriving as a raw recruit from non-league Hereford, who were forced to release him following financial trouble, Jackson is seemingly behind more established players like Shaun Harrad and Ashley Grimes.
Blackburn striker Anton Forrester and Wayne Rooney’s younger brother, John, have also been preferred to him so far.
And with Jessy Reindorf and last week’s signing Toppie Obadeyi waiting in the wings, competition is fierce yet not daunting for young Jackson.
“There are a number of great strikers here, so you don’t know who is going to be playing week in, week out,” he said.
“So when you have got that shirt you have got to keep it because there are two or three players on the bench that will come in and take it.
“The gaffer has said there is something he likes about me, so if I can prove that, by coming on and scoring, then I will be the one in the shirt and everyone else will be fighting to get it off me.”
Despite the rivalry, however, Jackson maintains the attacking unit works together rather than against each other.
“It is hard, but to be fair all the lads are quite close,” he added.
“You do learn from each other, and you also play off each other and feed off each other.
“There is not any stabbing in the back, everyone wants everyone else to do well.
“The lads will come up to you and say ‘good goal’ and ‘well done’ or whatever after the game.
“But that is football and is the same for every player in the team. In every position there are players fighting to get their shirts, so once you get it you’ve got to keep it.”
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