Ben Chenery is hoping Bury Town can end their season on a high by booking their place in the Suffolk Premier Cup final next week.
The Blues take on holders Lowestoft Town in the semi-finals of the county competition at Needham Market’s Bloomfields ground on Wednesday (7.45pm).
And ahead of taking on the higher league Trawlerboys for a place in the final, Bury manager Chenery is looking for his side to perform well in their home league clash against high-flying Harlow Town tomorrow (3pm).
“I’m fair with my players and I’ll tell them that the shirt is there’s to lose,” he said.
“Wednesday’s semi-final is a big game but it’s important for us first to put in a good performance against Harlow.
“We’re looking forward to pitting our wits against a team at the top end of the table, and I’ll want us to take the game to them and be on the front foot.”
Bury’s slim Ryman League Division One North play-off hopes became even more slender after losing 3-1 at Maldon and Tiptree on Saturday, with the defeat leaving them 12 points adrift of the top five with 10 league games to go.
Josh Mayhew netted his ninth goal in 11 games for the Blues to reduce Maldon’s lead to 2-1, but the Essex side quickly restored their two-goal cushion shortly after to wrap up the win.
It now leaves Bury with the Premier Cup as their best chance of silverware this season, and with one of two Ryman League Premier Division sides Needham Market or Leiston awaiting in the final, Chenery’s men will certainly have to do it the hard way.
“It’s a good competition which Bury Town have done well in and have fond memories of,” the Blues boss said.
“We’ve performed well in the cup competitions this season, and we would like to end the season on a high and try and win something.
“Looking at where we are in the league it’s not where we wanted to be, but in the last three months all the other teams in our league haven’t had the injury crisis we have.
“If we had the eight or nine players we’ve got injured back we’d be in a much healthier position. We’ll get on with it though and will look to do well in the cup so we can put some smiles on faces.”
Bury welcomed back John Kennedy from suspension against Maldon, while Darcy De’ath’s return lasted just 38 minutes and he is one of a number of players expected to sit out the next two games.
Nick Ingram (hip) is a doubt for tomorrow’s game against Harlow, but Chenery will be boosted by Connor Hall, Sam Reed and Bradley Barber all returning to training.