PATRICK Cregg has modestly shrugged off the plaudits from manager Richie Barker for his accomplished performance as Bury’s holding midfielder in the 0-0 home draw with Scunthorpe on Tuesday night.

The 26-year-old former Arsenal trainee has been something of a fringe player for the Shakers this season, but with captain Steven Schumacher out due to a hamstring injury and Peter Sweeney suspended for one more match following his sending off at Carlisle on March 10, he has taken his chance.

“He’s football clever,” said Barker of the Irishman. “When you ask him to do something, he understands what you are talking about.

“He is also a tidy on the ball. Someone who starts at Arsenal as a youngster must have something about them. After all Arsene Wenger doesn’t drop many clangers.”

For Cregg it was just a case of doing Barker’s bidding.

“The manager wanted to make sure we competed, first and foremost, and I think, personally, at any level, if you do that you’ve always got a chance,” he said.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to do this consistently until the end of the season.”

Cregg must now be in the box seat to continue his midfield roll alongside Mark Carrington and Giles Coke at Preston on Saturday, but he is taking nothing for granted.

“I don’t know if I’ll be playing at the weekend,” he said. “It’s the manager’s decision, but I’ve done what he asked of me, which was to compete and work hard. If you work hard you’ll make a living in the game – that’s what I was told when I was a 16-year-old.

“At Preston there will be a big crowd and we can go there and get a platform.

“They’ve got good players there, so they will come and play. Once we match them and compete I’m sure we’ll have a chance, and they will be thinking the same.

“If we can defend like we did against Scunthorpe we’ll have chance. I don’t think our goalkeeper had a save to make through the whole game.”