JAMIE HOYLAND: Time for players to focus and perform
11:00pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in Bury FC
ALL of the talk has been about the management in recent weeks but now the spotlight must rightly return to the players.
With the uncertainty behind the scenes now gone it is up to every member of the squad to refocus on the job in hand.
We are coming up to the time of the season where they will have to start getting results and there can be no excuses or scapegoats now – they have to start performing.
I think David Flitcroft’s message to his players in his first week in charge was telling – that if they don’t show the right attitude and ability or buy into his vision then he would be shipping them out.
Key to that, I think, was the appointment of Craig Jones as captain.
It was perhaps an unusual step to give the responsibility to lead the team to a winger or creative player.
But Jones has already shown great determination to force his way into the side after being kept on the sidelines for such a long time under the previous boss Kevin Blackwell.
And Flickers has clearly picked up on that in the short time he has been at the club.
The young lad has a fantastic attitude, as well as good deal of ability, and I think he is a really interesting choice.
On the flip side, Flickers has stripped the captaincy from Andy Procter and left the midfielder on the bench for his first game.
It is up to the manager to make those kinds of decisions – however harsh they may seem.
But the underlying message has to be that it is “my way or the high way” and he has clearly already put his marker down.
I think that is what this group of players has needed – leadership and a dose of stark reality.
While the new manager will want to put his stamp on the club very quickly, the style of football he wants to play will not click into place overnight.
The penny will take time to drop with some of the players and, with others, it may never happen.
But what he will need to put in place is a foundation from which to build.
The attacking side of things will evolve over time, but defensively the side must be tightened up.
Bury need a base from which to build, that’s the main thing, and Flickers will be eager to put that foundation in place.
With Chris Brass on board, and the rest of his coaching team coming together, David’s key focus on the training field over the next few weeks will be working as a team, both defensively as well as attacking.
If they can get that right then results will soon follow.
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