Kevin Blackwell urges Bury squad to build on cup exploits
KEVIN Blackwell has challenged his evolving side to learn from Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup exploits and take League Two by storm.
Barring any last-minute twists in the transfer window, the Shakers boss said the squad-building phase is now over at Gigg Lane following 24 signings this summer.
And, after seeing his new-look squad put three past Premier League Norwich in a gutsy final 20 minutes at Carrow Road, he is confident that, despite the 6-3 cup defeat, they have the makings of a successful outfit.
“This side has got something about it, we’ve just got to keep working, believing and moving forward,” said the 54-year-old coach. “I said to the lads before the match, this was about another game for development.
“We saw things we need to work on. I’m learning about the players and they are learning about what is required, but if they put that sort of standard in, week in, week out, they will be all right.”
At times, Norwich’s Premier League class was evident as they passed Bury off the pitch, but the result was never assured until the final few minutes and Blackwell believes that shows his side is already moving in the right direction.
“When you look at that performance and think that it was down to work we’ve done in six weeks, it’s phenomenal really, isn’t it?” he said, relishing the thought of getting back to League Two football at home to Cheltenham on Saturday.
“I’m really proud of what they’ve done. We know how hard we have worked here.
“The Premier League lads move the ball a little bit more quickly and you do have to do a lot of leg work as a lower-league club, but we were still going at the end and I think that shows the value of the hard work they have put in.
“So, if it’s Cheltenham, Chelsea, or whoever it is, we will perform and prepare the same way.”
The only negative, other than the result, came off the pitch, with a minority of the 800-plus fans, who travelled down to Norfolk in a convoy of 15 coaches, getting ejected after fighting with stewards.
But the Bury boss could not criticise the support his players received.
“As a manager, you ask your fans to support your team and that’s all you can do,” he said.
“One or two might well get carried away.
“It’s a six or seven-hour journey for some of them and I would have thought, if they had been drinking for six or seven hours, that might be the outcome.
“Overall, they were fantastic and I thought they made the occasion.”
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