RICHARD Wilkins will not take any chances with injured trio John Sands, Tom Bullard and Sam Nunn as his Bury Town side prepare to end their pre-season campaign against AFC Sudbury tonight (7.45pm).
All three are struggling with injuries, and with Bury’s squad somewhat threadbare, having failed to sign a single player so far this summer, no risks can be taken.
That will leave the Blues with just nine senior players to pick from, meaning the likes of promising youngster Evan Key could get a start.
Blues boss Wilkins said: “You look at the squad and at the moment we are fine with the way we are playing, but sod’s law says you are going to pick up a couple of injuries so we still need one or two players. “However, I’m not just going to get players in that I don’t think are better than what we have already got — it’s a waste of time. “I would prefer to work with the likes of Luke Ingram, Evan Key and Daniel Hitching rather than get someone in who is not better than them.
“That is a philosophy I will keep.”
That should prove an incentive to the club’s up-and-coming youngsters to follow teenager Connor Hall into being considered a first-team regular.
Key, Ingram, Hitching and Phil Weavers all played a part against Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Cambridge United on Monday.
“I rate them highly, but at times they just need to relax a bit and play the football I know they are capable of,” said Wilkins. “Sometimes they will make a mistake and their heads will go down, but they are the future. “It’s tough when you are in and out of the team, but they have to be patient.”
Meanwhile, Wilkins expects Bury to start the season playing in a 3-5-2 system.
The Blues may have been beaten by higher-league opposition Braintree Town, Charlton Athletic and Cambridge United in pre-season, but Wilkins believes the more attractive football his side are playing can be attributed to the formation.
“I think the system dictates us playing football,” said Wilkins. “Our three centre-halves have to be confident on the ball and (Russell) Short and (Mark) Coulson have just slipped into the wing-back positions brilliantly, which is a hard position to play.
“The lads are enjoying their football, enjoying playing in the system.”
Bury’s hunt for new acquisitions continues, but without success.
They have identified a wideman they are interested in, while they are hoping to tie up a deal for trialist goalkeeper Will Viner as back-up to Marcus Garnham.
Former Needham Market captain Rhys Barber is yet to sign dual registration forms with the Blues.
n New Needham Market signing Craig Nurse could face a spell on the sidelines after injuring his knee during Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to Lowestoft Town.
The Marketmen, who were missing a handful of regulars, complete their pre-season at home to East Thurrock United tomorrow (3pm).