Smith encouraged by first half of Bury’s season

Bury St Edmunds head coach Ollie Smith has taken plenty of positives from the first half of the seas

Bury St Edmunds head coach Ollie Smith has taken plenty of positives from the first half of the season. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Encouraging signs but room for improvement - that’s head coach Ollie Smith’s assessment of his Bury side at the halfway point of the season.

After 15 games, the Wolfpack sit eighth in the National League Two South table having won eight and lost seven during Smith’s first campaign with the club.

Their 45-29 loss at Cinderford was Bury’s third in succession, but the former British Lions, England and Leicester player has seen plenty to be encouraged by during his first few months at the helm.

“We are halfway through the season now, have won eight and lost seven, and I’d say there are probably only two of those seven where I have walked off being truly disappointed with our performance,” he said.

“That was Henley away (27-20 loss) and the opening day of the season against Tonbridge (50-17 defeat). In the rest, we have gone out there and played well and the positives are that we know where we need to improve.

“We haven’t always gone out there and done what we have said we are going to do and you walk away with ‘what ifs’, but we played well at both Chinnor and Cinderford.

“There are lots of positives. I try to stay positive as a coach because we are a group which is still developing and it’s a process. That’s our mindset because we always look to take a positive from games and carry that into the next.

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“From the first couple of weekends to where we are now, we’ve got better and better and we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves.”

Smith admitted promotion will likely prove beyond his side this season but insisted there is still plenty to work on between now and the end of the campaign.

“We know we are probably out of the running to go up but I’d like to think we have enough in us to not go down,” he said.

“The process keeps going and winning becomes a habit. We will give some opportunities, see what some of the guys can do and we want to see if some of the fringe players are good enough to be a top end National Two player.

“The planning for next season is starting now really and there is no point spending the next 15 games not playing for an awful lot.

“Where we are come the end of the season will have a huge impact on where we go next season.”

Next up for Bury is Saturday’s trip to Broadstreet.

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