BURY boss David Flitcroft has called on his attacking players to add a “ruthless” edge to their game as they bid to go one step further and beat Fleetwood Town at home tonight.
The Shakers are unbeaten at the JD Stadium since Flitcroft was appointed to the hotseat – a run of seven matches that has included visits from four of League Two’s top six sides.
But they are yet to record a win against the promotion pack following draws against Scunthorpe United (second place), Burton Albion (fourth), Oxford United (sixth) and most recently Rochdale (third) last Friday.
Flitcroft was unhappy with his forwards’ finishing in the 0-0 draw against their Lancashire rivals and has now challenged them to be more clinical ahead of the visit of fifth-placed Fleetwood.
“It’s that edge, that ruthless edge you need to be a winner,” he said.
“They have got to take the opportunities when they present themselves and we haven’t done that.
“That’s the next part of the challenge, to beat these teams. That’s where we have to go.”
Graham Alexander’s Fleetwood – led by former Shakers captain Steven Schumacher - won for the first time in five league outings at bottom side Torquay United on Saturday.
But Flitcroft believes they could be there for the taking and is eager to extend his unbeaten home record with a victory.
“While (League Two’s top three) Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Rochdale have been very consistent in their performances and results, Fleetwood have been quite inconsistent,” he said.
“They have won well, but also lost quite spectacularly at times.
“We have got to keep improving and will play them with a point gained from a team (in Rochdale) that could have gone top, so we’re in good shape.
“We have turned this place into somewhere teams find it difficult to get anything, so we are progressing.
“But the point gained on Friday night was tinged with disappointment because I am desperate to win football matches.”
Results elsewhere saw Bury fall back to 20th-place in the table, but they retain a six-point cushion over the relegation zone.
Flitcroft has confirmed, however, that they will be missing captain Craig Jones for up to two weeks with a hamstring injury, while Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro is a doubt with a calf strain.
Andrew Tutte should return after missing Friday’s match due an agreement with Rochdale following his free transfer from Spotland in January.
And Danny Mayor is also expected to figure, despite being substituted at half time on Friday.
“Danny had been to his nan’s funeral,” explained Flitcroft.
“I spoke to him before the game and he thought he could carry out what I wanted him to do, but he was emotionally drained and told me at half time he felt as though he was running through quicksand.”