JACOB’S CRACKED IT!
WHILE most players were enjoying their summer holidays, Bury’s Jacob Mellis decided to skip the beach in favour of hitting the training ground. Forget nights out in Marbs, Mellis was burning the carbs, with the 26-yearold determined to make sure he was in the best nick for a gruelling season in League One. It has paid off, with the former Chelsea and England Unde-19 midfielder avoiding the injuries that disrupted him last season. Mellis, who is out of contract this summer, has adopted a more focused approach to his football and he’s showing the quality that saw him start his career at Chelsea and play in the Championship with Barnsley.
“At the end of last season I had decisions to make about certain things in my life,” Mellis told The FLP.
“In the summer I didn’t go on holiday. I just stayed at the training ground with the physio, did a lot of running and got myself ready for pre-season.
“I didn’t play too many games last year, so I wanted to be right and as fit as possible.
“I’ve pretty much played every game, apart from the ones I’ve been suspended.
“I just wanted to be more focused. When I’m focused, I feel like I play well. No-one can switch it on and off.
“I feel like I’ve done that and I feel better for it.
“I knew I had to. No-one was going to do it for me – hopefully people can see that.
“I feel like anyone who knows me, even from two or three years to now, will see I’ve changed a lot.
“It’s generally about making better decisions and growing up.”
Last Tuesday’s 5-1 defeat to Oxford United halted a run of five clean sheets in a row for the Shakers and was only their second defeat in ten games.
That run has helped boss Lee Clark, who left Kilmarnock in February to replace Chris Brass, steer the club away from the drop zone.
Mellis says the former Huddersfield and Birmingham City chief has injected fresh belief in the dressing room.
“He’s given the players a lot of confidence,” said Mellis. “Apart from against Oxford, we’ve been looking more solid.
“Training has been high tempo, we’re playing that way, too, and it’s been good.
“We’ve got a lot of good players. We’ve got to put it all together and pick up some more wins.”
Then it might be time for a well-deserved holiday.
HITTING THE HEIGHTS: Jacob Mellis