Left-back is missing link for Bury
A NEW left-back could be the final piece in the Bury jigsaw after Shakers boss David Flitcroft enjoyed a busy start to the transfer window.
The manager admitted the left side of his defence was the only position he was now concerned about after bringing in three new defenders this week.
Young recruits James Burke and Frederic Veseli played key roles in Bury’s impressive 3-0 win at Hartlepool United on New Year’s Day, while experienced centre-back Pablo Mills signed at the end of last week.
Mills, aged 29, who was released by Rotherham United, looks set to be the linchpin of Flitcroft’s new-look defence after signing a permanent deal until the end of the season.
Burke, aged 19, who was released by Huddersfield Town, signed an 18-month deal and lined up on the right of a back three in Bury’s trip to Victoria Park, while Veseli, aged 21, who has signed from Ipswich on a one-month loan, played as a right-sided wing-back.
Veteran midfielder Chris Sedgwick filled that role on the opposite flank ahead of 35-year-old left-back Gareth Roberts, and Flitcroft is now eager to find a more suitable replacement.
“There will be a left-back coming in the window – that’s the only position where I don’t feel we are balanced,” he said.
“We have not really got that young, energetic, dynamic left-back who I feel we could improve and take to the next level but could also provide us with the solid foundation to go out and win games.
“That’s probably where we are directing most of our energy to.
“(At Barnsley) I worked with Tom Kennedy and Scott Golbourne, who we sold to Wolves, so I have worked with some quality left-backs and it’s a specialised position.
“The two full-backs are key to how I want to play football. They have got to be proper footballers who can see, spot and execute passes and that’s the type of left-back I will be looking for.”
While Flitcroft is eager to revitalise the squad with young talent, he was also keen to bring in an experienced old head at the heart of his defence.
And he believes Mills is the ideal fit – providing competition for current incumbent Richard Hinds and a calming influence on Burke and left-sided centre-back Nathan Cameron.
“I look at the players we’ve already got – young players in Burke and Cameron and the potential left-back we are after – and you need some glue," he said.
“You need someone who can organise you, who can structure a defence, structure the support right in front of them and just organise and communicate.”
All three new recruits will be available for Saturday’s trip to high-flyers Chesterfield, while Flitcroft expects to have a fully fit squad to choose from as he bids to extend the Shakers’ winning run to three matches.