BURY Town manager Richard Wilkins has urged his side to be more ‘streetwise’ following their 2-0 defeat at Cray Wanderers on Saturday.
The Blues — who host Canvey Island tomorrow (3pm) before travelling to Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday (7.45pm) — conceded a harsh second-half penalty and were denied one of their own when Sam Reed was pushed in the 18-yard box in the second half.
And Wilkins believes had Reed gone down rather than attempt to stay on his feet in pursuit of the ball, his side would have been awarded a spot-kick he believes the foul merited anyway.
The Blues’ boss said: “I don’t want any of my players to dive, but I also want them to be streetwise and if they are clobbered in the box or tripped from behind, we need to have that nous to get ourselves a penalty, as Cray did against us on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t want anybody to dive because I don’t agree with it, but you can be streetwise.
“Just look at the Cray player on Saturday. He has got himself a penalty by showing a bit of experience.
“We need to kill games off. It will come, but I feel at times we are just a little bit too nice.”
Wayne Brown (calf/illness) and James Scowcroft (groin) remain out until at least the New Year, while Billy Clark and Ryan Clark are both suspended for tomorrow’s match.
John Kennedy (shin) is improving, but Elliot Hunter (knee) remains up to two weeks away from a return.
Sam Nunn (work commitments) is set to return, while Danny Cunningham (ankle), Roscoe Hipperson (hamstring), Luke Ingram (ankle), Kieran Leabon (groin) could also be back in the squad.
Tom Bullard (shin), Mark Coulson (back), Craig Nurse (calf), Lee Reed (hernia), Russell Short (groin) and Lee Smith (knee) continue to play through the pain. Richard Robbins (dislocated finger) and Callum Kearns (knee) will go with Team Bury, but could make the bench for Tuesday’s trip to Wingate and Finchley.
Despite the Blues’ long injury list, Wilkins has backed his side to pick up significant points during a difficult run of fixtures.
“I still feel we are putting out a good XI,” he said. “Injuries happen even though you hope they don’t, but you have to get on with it — that’s life.
“The football we are playing is good, but we need someone to put the ball in the back of the net at the moment.
“The ball fell to four or five different players on Saturday and the keeper should have worked a lot harder than he did on occasions.”
Bury (from): Bullard, Coulson, Garnham, Hall, Hipperson, Hitching, Ingram, Leabon, Nunn, Nurse, L Reed, S Reed, Sands, Short, Smith.
n Bury Town will have to make a 260-mile round trip in the last eight of the Alan Boon Ryman League Cup on Tuesday, January 17, when they visit Ryman Premier rivals Hastings United.