Bury fans seem to be no strangers to financial turmoil. Just what exactly is going on at your club at the moment?
We’re a club vastly overachieving at the moment and sadly it’s starting to catch up with us. As a professional club we are run extremely poorly, our commercial side has been pretty much non-existent for years and at this level it's showing.
Our chairman has come out and told us that we are apparently 500 off the home support from last year and also games being postponed on a Saturday against teams that would have brought good crowds with them. I believe he was quoted as saying that last season we made around 80k from Sheffield United as they brought over 3k, this season with it being rearranged to a midweek they only brought 900 and we only made 30k.
A 50k difference for a team our size is massive and we also made a loss on a home game for the first time in a very long time when we played Carlisle in a rearranged game too. We rely purely on our home gates because we don’t do anything off the pitch apart from the odd curry night/beer festival here and there. We’re definitely a club that’s being left behind in the past.
What do you think of the job Kevin Blackwell has done for your club so far?
It’s been very mixed from my point of view. For the majority of the time he’s been here he’s had his hands tied behind his back with us going into an embargo twice and with us having very little money to spend any way it’s been tough for him. Kevin’s a very outspoken manager, however, as I’m sure everyone in football knows which I think can be good for a club like us as it can raise a club's profile, but some of the things he has come out with in post match press conferences have been either stupid or just plain lies.
The amount of times he’s told us about how ‘poor’ the bench has been is probably up there with the amount of trophies Manchester United have won under Fergie. (Yes, we get the idea Kevin, we’ve got a rubbish squad) Many believe he’ll walk if we get relegated this season, the fans are probably split 80-20 on wanting to get rid of him anyway and while I believe we should give him time to pick his own team/squad whether he’ll get the time to do this remains to be seen.
Now that Pompey have finally ended the 24 match winless run, how fearful are you of your team being beaten at Fratton Park?
Not nearly as much as I was before your win. We have history of gifting team’s wins when they’ve been on a long winless run. It’s frustrating really, we put in a really good performance the other week against Swindon and managed to come away with a 1-0 win and then we followed that up by the most gutless performance I’ve seen since we were down struggling to stay in the league about 4-5 years ago.
I wouldn’t expect a good quality match between us two that’s for sure.
Do you think you will be playing Pompey in League Two next season if you lose on Saturday?
It’s a must win game for sure We don’t tend to do well against the teams that are around us either and many of our fans believe that we are down anyway. Pompey look to have a decent eleven and I’m surprised that they are bottom (without a points deduction). Perhaps what’s been hanging over the club hasn’t really helped you lot plus with Appleton leaving you earlier on in the season.
Honestly, barring no liquidation from Portsmouth’s side I think we’ll be seeing each other next season. Hopefully in happier circumstances.
Who are Bury's key players?
Probably the hardest question so far. Our stand out player is clearly our captain Steven Schumacher, he has 10+ goals for us this season I believe and in reality is the only player that normally looks like scoring for us. Even Shuey has had some shocking games for us. Our main downfall this season has been scoring goals. I dread to think who’s behind Schumacher in the scoring charts.
It has not helped that Bishop has had another injury hit season and never really got going and the less said about David Healy the better, how he managed to pass a medical and swindle a contract from us is staggering and just shows how bad it’s been for us this season.
Tom Soares has been a good buy, managed to get him on a 3 month deal and you can see he has something about him and has played at a higher level. Sadly I believe he’s out for the season after picking up an injury against Crawley last weekend.
What are the biggest weaknesses in your team?
Ha! Where do I start?
Like I pointed out to the previous question our attack has been terrible I believe we’re the lowest scorers at home and I wouldn’t be too surprised if we weren’t in the bottom four overall.
Our defence isn’t much better, we’ve had a lot of different combinations at the back and conceded some really soft goals. It’s frustrating really because last season we had a poor defence and over the summer we’ve done nothing to rectify it.
Players have been brought in - Lockwood, Eastham and Regan and neither of them are better that what we have. We had a lad on loan from Bournemouth called Zubar, he was great, like a younger Efe Sodje but not as erratic. Sadly he got injured at Notts County and is now out for the season which just about sums our season up.
Are there any players in Pompey's squad that your fans will be worried about on Saturday?
You have quite a few decent players considering the financial situation your club is in (but I won’t go into that). Patrick Agyemang is decent and David Connolly is quality player despite his age. You also had Izale McLeod earlier in the season too another decent player as this level.
Predict the outcome of the game.
I think we’ll probably lose to be honest. We just don’t have the quality about us and it’s about time we were put out of our misery.
Portsmouth 2-1 Bury
Source: Fratton Faithful