PABLO Mills is eager to prove manager David Flitcroft’s theory right – that Bury can play their way out of League Two trouble and, ultimately, into the third tier and beyond.

But the Derby County graduate believes his team-mates will have to show one quality above all else if they are to be successful – courage.

“I have never been at a club like this one, that just wanted to play pure football,” he explained.

“I have been in promotion teams where we have just played the long ball and made it a fight, but the gaffer has said he doesn’t want that.

“He wants us to play football and I don’t see why we can’t do that, but you will need players with courage – players to believe in what we are doing, players with a bit of bottle really.”

The 29-year-old defender excelled on his Shakers debut in the 0-0 draw at home to Burton Albion last Saturday as both the last line of defence and the first line of attack in Flitcroft’s 3-4-3 formation.

He marshalled the defence well as the central player of a back three, helping Bury keep a clean sheet, but also set the tempo of their play, taking the ball from goalkeeper Brian Jensen before launching their attacks.

He was forced to ride his luck at times, however, as he passed the ball around the back line in a bid to keep possession, rather than clear his lines by launching the ball into row Z.

Yet that responsibility is something Mills is happy with and he believes the rest of the squad must follow his lead and play without fear.

“When you play our brand of football, mistakes can occur, but mistakes occur on all levels,” he added.

“If you going to play this brand of football you have got to accept sometimes that you are going to make a mistake, but that is football and you have just got to get on with it.”

Whatever ups and downs come Bury’s way over the course of the season, Mills has been through plenty in his career to suggest he has broad enough shoulders to cope with it.