The View From The Opposition: Bury

MILLWALL drew 0-0 with AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night after last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers. 

This Saturday, the Lions will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to Gigg Lane, where they defeated Bury 3-1 last season. NewsAtDen spoke to Adam Deakin for the lowdown on the Shakers.

Name: Adam Deakin

Twitter: @ajadeakin

What made you support Bury?: I was a kid growing up in the 90s enjoying all that Sky Sports had to offer with live coverage of the Premiership. However my older sister, Emma, is a Bury supporter through and through who would travel home and away to follow the team.

Occasionally she would offer to take me to some of the home games at Gigg Lane to give me a flavour of what it meant to watch live football. She would meet me at my uncle's house (around the corner from Gigg Lane) and we would go to the game from there.

In the early years of watching Bury I remember being quite overwhelmed by the noise of the crowd: the initial cheering and clapping the players as they appeared from the tunnel before kick-off, later followed by groans and comments towards the ref from the minority of frustrated fans, not forgetting the occasional harmless banter exchanged between the opposing supporters with some of the crowd often breaking into "who ate all the pies…".

Season 1996-97 was the real clincher for me. Promoted from the third division the season before, Stan Ternent managed to get the right group of players who were willing to fight and work for each other on the pitch. Organised and disciplined, the team never tasted defeat at home that season, shipping only seven goals along the way.

With promotion already confirmed the week before at Watford, thanks to Dean Kiely saving an 88th-minute penalty from Tommy Mooney, I went to watch Bury play Millwall at Gigg Lane on the final day of the season. Three points would see us crowned Division Two champions, and we went on to win the game 2-0 with goals from Ronnie Jepson and Lenny Johnrose.

The crowd were buzzing, Gigg Lane was rocking and after the final whistle all the home fans waited around for the trophy presentation and for the players and staff to do a lap of honour. It was an awesome day for all involved, and that experience formed the foundations of my love for the club.

With the halfway mark of the season approaching, Bury sit just above the relegation zone and are in a bad run of form. Is that where you expected the Shakers to be?: I never read too much into league positions at Christmas. However, at the start of the season my expectations were for us to consolidate on where we finished last year. We lost some key players from last season and recruited some decent players so as a fan I would be happy with a mid-table finish.

Following the great start we made to the season we have had some really bad luck with injuries to key personnel at a time when some of the players seemed to be hitting really good form. The injuries eventually caught up with the team on the pitch leading to this bad run of form. I believe if the current management team can regroup the players and instil some confidence back in the changing room we have the quality in the squad to turn games back in our favour and halt this slide.

Millwall are sitting in mid-table – after making the play-off final last season, can you see the Lions going one better?: I think this division is competitive which the table demonstrates. Millwall currently lie in 13th place but they are only four points off the final play-off position. Personally I think it will be tough for Millwall to clinch one of the two available automatic promotion spots based on the current form of Sheffield United, Bolton and Scunthorpe United. However, I think you might have an outside chance of finishing in a play-off position if you can turn some of the defeats into draws.

Which Bury players will Millwall have to watch out for this weekend? Likewise, what Lions players will you be wary of?: With the current state of the depleted squad there are quite a few names I am unable to nominate as potential Bury players to watch. I would have to say Danny Mayor has the ability to change a game, drifting in from the left-hand side. Some of his runs may cause the opposition defence problems if we can get him into the game. Looking at the opposition players I will pick out David Worrall as someone to be wary of. As an ex-Bury player I expect him to work tirelessly as always but I hope he doesn't produce any moments of magic to haunt his former team!

Finally, a score prediction?: Hopefully we will have enough first-team players available to build on the dogged performance away at Sheffield United. I will go for an ambitious 2-1 win to Bury.

Graphic: ©ShedCreative