BRIAN Jensen believes he could soon be lining up against Bury in League One after the Shakers’ player of the season signed for Crawley Town this week.
Reds manager John Gregory snapped up the 38-year-old stopper on a one-year deal after he was released by Bury counterpart David Flitcroft.
But, with a few more additions in defence, Jensen has tipped his former club to follow him into the third tier via promotion next season.
“Obviously I am leaving some pretty big shoes to fill,” he joked, alluding to the fact Bury are yet to replace him with an experienced number one.
“But I think the gaffer (Flitcroft) already knows what he wants to do and hopefully, if things work out for me here and Bury manage to get the signings they are after then I will get the chance to play against them again one day soon.”
Flitcroft has already been busy in the transfer market in the close season, signing attacking midfielders Danny Mayor and Nicky Adams and tempting former striker Ryan Lowe back to the club.
But he is now likely to turn his attention to the defence.
Centre-backs Pablo Mills and Jim McNulty are the only remaining defenders from the back four that helped Jensen keep the majority of his 16 clean sheets in 39 appearances last season after signing for the Shakers in August.
Flitcroft used the loan market to fill the two full-back positions, playing Ipswich youngster Frederic Veseli at right-back and bringing in Chris Hussey from Burton Albion at left-back.
The Bury boss may well be interested in tempting both players to sign longer-term deals, although Veseli has a year left on his contract at Portman Road and it seems Hussey, whose contract was due to run out in the summer, triggered an automatic 12-month extension based on appearances after playing in Burton’s unsuccessful League Two play-off campaign.
Flitcroft has hinted, however, that youth team full-back Marcus Poshca could be ready to step up, and captain Craig Jones is capable of switching from midfield.
But Jensen believes they would just be used as cover.
“I think Jones would be the first one to say that right-back is not his favourite position and I don’t think he will be the long-term solution,” said Jensen.
“I think the club will have to find new full-backs, but I am sure the gaffer already has that in hand and, like my goalkeeper’s position, he already knows who he wants for those roles.”
The former Burnley stopper also added that he will always remain grateful for the chance given to him by Bury.
“I would like to thank every manager I worked with there, along with the directors and the fans, for giving me the opportunity to get my career back on track,” he said.
“There is no doubt I would not now be looking forward to a season in League One if it was not for the club and the fans, who voted me their player of the season, so I will always be grateful for that.”