PREVIEW: Shaky at the back but '˜outrageous' going forward - Town host Bury
On Saturday Chesterfield will welcome to the Proact one of only three sides to have a worse defensive record in League One than their own.
But fellow relegation threatened outfit Bury boast a remarkably impressive attacking record, having been ‘offensively outstanding’ this season.
Mikael McKenzie writes for the Bury Times and says that although the Shakers have no trouble finding the net, keeping the ball out at the other end has been their downfall.
“Offensively outstanding, defensively disastrous,” he said.
“Bury are in free-scoring form and despite sitting in League One’s bottom four are actually the fourth top scorers in the league.
“However, it’s at the back where the real problem lies.
“For as many as they can score, they always seem to concede more.
“The leaky defence had kept two cleans sheets in 32 games prior to MK Dons on Tuesday night, so while their exciting attacking play may often be dazzling, mistakes at the back continue to come in an abundance.”
In January the Shakers moved to try and address their defensive frailties by bringing in Cameron Burgess on loan from Fulham.
They did some other high profile business as well.
McKenzie said: “Burgess, a well-built, 6ft3 centre-back, has helped to reduce the goals against column ever so slightly and made the back four or five look that little more secure.”
Legend Ryan Lowe’s return has boosted morale around the squad as he signed a player-coach deal after Crewe agreed to terminate his contract.
“The surprise January signing which caught everybody’s attention was former Liverpool and Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant but he is yet to show any of the talent which saw him play in the 2007 Champions League final.”
Bury’s form player remains James Vaughan, the division’s Player of the Month in January is in a rich vein of form with eight goals in five games before the MK Dons clash in midweek.
He’s hit 18 for the season.
McKenzie added: “He has hits sights set firmly on the golden boot and his goals will be crucial to Bury’s survival.”
When the two sides met back in September at Gigg Lane, the Shakers were 2-1 winners thanks to a late Tom Pope goal.
Likely line-up (5-3-2): Murphy; Moore, Kay, C. Burgess, Barnett, Leigh; Brown, Mellis, S. Burgess; Pope, Vaughan.