Ollie Smith looks for the ‘right attitude’ from Bury ahead of Barnstaple clash
ury St Edmunds’ head coach, Ollie Smith, is appealing for the “right attitude” from his team going into today’s National League Two South home fixture against Barnstaple (3pm).
Bury under-performed during last weekend’s 24-14 defeat at struggling Old Redcliffians, and they face two more teams stuck in the lower echelons of the table over the next two weekends, against Barnstaple and then away at second-from-bottom Wimbledon.
Teams near the bottom understandably have a lot to play for, to avoid relegation, so it’s up to seventh-placed Bury to be in the right frame of mind – the Wolfpack are not involved in a promotion or a relegation battle themselves, but a top six finish is on their agenda.
“Last weekend was very disappointing. Ultimately, we were not good enough,” admitted Smith. “Collectively, we were poor across the board. We struggled a bit in the set piece, were not clinical enough with our chances, and I thought we were also a bit lack-lustre, a bit flat.
“They (Old Redcliffians) were fighting for their lives, so it was always going to be a challenge for us, but that’s what happens at this stage of the season.
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“We have an opportunity to put it right this weekend, at home to Barnstaple, but we must have the right attitude, that’s all-important.
“These sort of teams have more to play for, because there’s more riding on the game for them, but my players need a challenge and we want to finish as high we can.
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“The club finished sixth a couple of seasons ago (2015-16), so our aim is to record the highest- ever league position by finishing in that top six. That is our aim.
“My target at the start of the season was to win promotion – that should always be the aim – but if we can finish in the top six then ultimately that will be just reward for us in my first season at the club.
“The away game at Barnstaple was a very tight game, although the scoreline (39-24 win) suggested it was comfortable for us. We are expecting another tight game,” added Smith
BURY squad: Brown, Bixby, Greco, Edison, Scholes, Comin, Stapleton, Browne. Ashby, McBride (c), Corcoran, Rouse, O’Reilly, Kohler, Lord. Replacements: Smith, King, Wilson, Merolle, Honey.