Ben Chenery has told his Bury Town players he is ‘scrutinising their every move’ ahead of planning his squad to bounce straight back up next season.
The Blues host in-form Grays Athletic tomorrow (3pm) after encouraging displays in their own last two matches; having turned the form table on its head to topple Metropolitan Police (2-1) before Saturday’s spirited point in a 1-1 draw at Tonbridge Angels.
With that points haul still seeing them rooted to the bottom of the Ryman League Premier Division and 14 adrift of safety with six games (a possible 18 points) to play, Bury boss Chenery has accepted relegation is now inevitable.
But he says his players have plenty to play for, with the club desperate to avoid the ignominy of finishing bottom, while the manager himself has asked them to fight for their place in his 2015/16 squad.
“I have told this group of players I will be watching every single move they make,” he said, “that includes how they walk and talk, as I need to see who has the right attitude to work with me next season and do the things I require to put us back on solid ground again.”
One of those looking to impress is former Fulham youngster Saul Otobo, who made his debut up front with goalscorer David Lampshire in Essex, having only registered on the morning of the match.
“He has been around this level and has been playing for Hornchurch,” said Chenery. “But he has not played for the last five to six weeks.
“He is very direct and quick and has good intelligence running in behind, which is what we have not been doing enough of.”
Otobo, believed to be in his mid-20s, can operate as a striker or down the right wing and has played a level up from Bury’s league in the Conference regional divisions with Histon, Dorchester Town and Vauxhall Motors, as well as having spells with Leatherhead and Lowestoft Town.
Otobo combined well with Lampshire on his debut on Saturday, with the latter seeing a good chance saved when put one-one-one with the goalkeeper before Otobo whipped in a good cross for his strike partner, but he could not bring it down in time.
Lampshire made no mistake when following up Russell Shorts’ deflected shot though to give Bury the lead in the 28th minute.
They just about kept their noses in front at the break, with Nathan Elders curling just over the bar.
It was a Tonbridge onslaught in the second half, with the Blues’ resistance finally broken in the 78th minute with Tom Parkinson allowed to get on the end of a free-kick for what proved to be a share of the spoils.
“It was a massive point for our young side against experienced Ryman players,” said Chenery, whose side host a Grays outfit who beat Tonbridge 3-1 Wednesday to give them four wins and two draws from their last six games.