IT is easy to see why David Flitcroft was frustrated after Tuesday night’s match at Torquay, and not just because of the manner of the defeat. Conceding a late goal like that is never easy to take, but I think the Bury boss will have been most concerned about the mindset of his players.
It is true that Bury have held their own against the top teams recently, but approaching a match against teams vying for promotion and battling relegation requires a completely different mentality.
And I believe it is a mentality the Shakers players need to adopt pretty quickly if they are going to get anything out of the next run of games against teams fighting for their lives.
Sure, David wants his side to play football, and that is really refreshing, but if they don’t come round to the fact that they too should be fighting for points then they are going to struggle.
That is why I found the decision to replace Brian Jensen with young Reice Charles-Cook all the more strange.
Brian is a seasoned campaigner, whose experience could prove vital in the next 10 games. I understand David has had problems with his distribution and probably wanted to show the squad that no player was too big or too important to be dropped.
But to make that point midway through a crucial game, like he did on Saturday, well I have to say that I have never seen anything like that before in all my days in football.
I think Paulo Di Canio hauled off his keeper at Preston after he conceded four goals in the opening 20 minutes, but while Brian had kicked a few balls long or into touch, he was still sitting on a clean sheet.
I know Reice went on to keep Southend from scoring, but then he let a couple in at Torquay.
For me, Brian has played well in recent weeks and made some vital saves. I think first and foremost you want your keeper to be a good keeper – the distribution side of things you can iron out on the training field.
I don’t know him personally, but everything I hear about Brian is that he is a good professional who will get on with it and not complain or moan in the dressing room. But there is no doubt his pride will have been hurt and if Bury are to get out of the relegation trouble they find themselves in then David will need as many characters like him as possible in the dressing room.