Bury make the trip to face Rotherham United on Saturday, which will pit two sides against each other who are expected to mount a challenge for a play-off place come the end of the season.
Bury come into this game low on confidence and in desperate need of three points. Lee Clark’s side are without a win in the league since their opening day victory over Walsall and they currently find themselves 19th in the table.
Like their opponents who have recruited well this summer, Bury have spent well bringing in a number of new faces. Jermaine Beckford has been the most high profile arrival as Lee Clark hopes to have put together a squad capable of challenging for promotion. But they have not got off to the start that they would have liked as pressure already seems to be growing on their manager.
Rotherham are the side coming into the game on a high after their first away win in 17 months last time out against Portsmouth at Fratton Park. The victory was made all the more important when you look at their run prior, which saw them lose three out of four games, with their only victory being the thrashing of Southend.
The Millers will be hoping to make it two wins on the bounce on Saturday for the first time this season as they look to follow on from their near complete performance against Portsmouth. A much improved defensive display was key to their victory as they showed a resoluteness that’s been amiss for some time now.
Rotherham’s manager Paul Warne made it clear during his pre-match press conference that he is well aware of the dangers Bury possess heading into this game:
I don’t think their results have mirrored their performances. On paper they’re a really strong team. I expect a tough game and I expect them to come here and be really positive.
Lee Clark meanwhile played down the pressure that some say is growing on his squad coming into this game after their poor start to the season:
The pressure is constant on myself and that doesn’t change because we haven’t made the start we wanted, we move on to the next game and we try and rectify those problems and kick on once again. With what’s required, we know the solutions. There’s not a lot wrong. There’s a lot of room for improvement.
Bury have been unlucky on the injury front and they go into this game without Jay O’Shea, who is set to miss another two to four weeks. They are also without Eoghan O’Connell and Andrew Tutte, while Chris Maguire is unlikely to start against his old club after only just returning from injury last Saturday against Scunthorpe as a 64th minute substitute.
Rotherham were given a boost going into this game as Joe Mattock and Josh Emmanuel were passed fit to play after missing out against Portsmouth with minor knocks. Jamie Proctor is the only player missing out as he looks set to miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
This game looks set to be a tight affair that could go either way. Rotherham will go into the game as favourites considering both side’s form and it would be a big win for the home side that would build some momentum after a mixed start against tough opposition. Bury will feel hard done by that they have not picked up more points so far and they will be hoping to begin to put that right against their promotion rivals on Saturday.
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