Wilkins in balancing act to keep Blues’ ship steady

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BURY Town manager Richard Wilkins knows he will have to perform a delicate balancing act when attempting to improve his squad this summer.

The Blues’ boss admitted this week players would have to leave Ram Meadow before others could be brought in as he works within a budget that looks to remain static.

Players are due to learn their fate over the next week, allowing director of football Trevor Collins and club director Phil Smailes to get to work as soon as the Bosman ruling comes into effect and possible targets’ contracts are up.

“It will start the early part of next week when we sit down with players,” said Wilkins. “Assistant manager Richard Skelly and I have already spoken about areas we need to improve the squad and potential targets we think will do that.

“We’ve come up a little bit short in the last two years at vital moments and I now need to sit down with the powers that be at the club and talk about budgets, but I can’t see them changing in the current financial times.”

Although Wilkins expects to keep the players he wants to, he stressed nothing would be assured until pen had been put to paper on new contracts by the players.

“We want to try and keep the majority of the squad, but that’s not always an easy job,” he said. “It’s never a done deal until contracts are signed, so you can’t take anything for granted.

“I hope we can keep who we want to and add to the area we feel we need a little bit of extra quality in.”

Wilkins has also pledged to continue to build steadily rather than ship loads of players out to get lots in – putting a figure of three or four coming each way as a rough idea of what he is looking for.

“I’ve only done it once in my 12-year reign when I’ve made wholesale changes and regretted it,” said the West Suffolk College coach. “The squad on the whole is a very good squad, but I know if I want to bring three in then three will have to go.

“That’s not a nice thing to do to players, but that’s the nature of the beast – you don’t always get it right and sometimes players you bring in won’t work out for whatever reason.”

Another issue Wilkins plans to target over the summer is discipline, with suspensions costing Tom Bullard and Danny Cunningham their places in last week’s play-off semi-final and last night’s Suffolk Premier Cup final.

“There are a few players who need a few words with regards to discipline,” he said. “We’ve had too many booked and sent off this season, which has hit us hard towards the end of the year.”

n Log on to www.buryfreepress.co.uk for a report and reaction from last night’s Suffolk Premier Cup final.