The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Tom Ge­orge

LEE Clark seems to be in­spir­ing the whole Bury squad since tak­ing up the man­age­rial reins – and full­back Greg Leigh claims the new boss has par­tic­u­larly helped un­lock his at­tack­ing tal­ents.

A solid left-back for the early part of the sea­son, Leigh has been trans­formed into a ma­raud­ing wing-back since Clark’s ar­rival a month ago, cul­mi­nat­ing in his first goal for the Shak­ers, at the 43rd time of ask­ing, in the 3-0 mid­week vic­tory over Bris­tol Rovers.

With his trusty 3-5-2 for­ma­tion pay­ing div­i­dends, Clark led Bury to four wins and just one loss in his first seven matches in charge.

De­spite a dis­as­trous 20match win­less streak ear­lier in the cam­paign, the re­cent run had the Shak­ers six points and three places clear of rel­e­ga­tion ahead of yes­ter­day’s trip to Mill­wall, and Leigh is adamant Clark’s im­pact can’t be over-stated.


“The mood is good with the new man­ager. He’s set­tled in re­ally nicely,” explained the 22-year-old. “He’s come in and been re­ally hon­est. You know what he wants and you try your best to give that to him. It’s been a re­ally good work­ing relationship be­tween him and the boys. “When new man­agers come in, it often raises the tempo of train­ing and games. “Play­ers want to im­press and the in­jured lads want to come back. “His own stan­dards are very high, which is ob­vi­ously a pos­i­tive in a man­ager be­cause it pushes play­ers to the max­i­mum. “I am en­joy­ing my new role. It’s some­thing that suits me be­cause I like go­ing for­ward. I like de­fend­ing – don’t get me wrong – but I like to get for­ward and use my at­tributes.

“I en­joy the role of wing­back a lit­tle bit more than left-back be­cause it gives me more li­cence to get for­ward.”

Prior to Clark’s ap­point­ment, the Shak­ers had con­ceded an av­er­age of al­most two goals per game, but the new boss has reme­died that – with just four let in over the past eight games be­fore the week­end.

Leigh knows that fix­ing the leaky back­line was pri­or­ity num­ber one for Clark upon ar­rival.

“I think that has been the prob­lem this sea­son,” he said. “When you’re not con­ced­ing, it gives a boost to the de­fend­ers and also the for­wards be­cause they know they need only one goal to win the game.”

Since join­ing Bury from Brad­ford City last sum­mer, Leigh has ex­pe­ri­enced what he de­scribes as a ‘weird’ cam­paign, but the young­ster is op­ti­mistic about the club’s chances of sur­vival de­spite a tricky run-in.


“I feel like the league is dif­fer­ent this year,” he added.

“I remember be­ing in the league two years ago when you had teams like MK Dons and Bris­tol City run­ning away with it at times.

“The teams at the top have done well this year, but I don’t nec­es­sar­ily think they’re as good as in pre­vi­ous years.

“One thing that hasn’t wor­ried me is the play­ers we have. We’ve got a very good squad and have done from the start.

“It’s been a bit dis­ap­point­ing the way we’ve played for large parts of the year.

“But I still be­lieve the squad is strong enough to go into any game and come away with a result.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

IN­SPIRED: Greg Leigh has hit form for Bury and, in­set, new man­ager Lee Clark

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