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Peter Clarke: “Season of Progress”

7 March 2016

Peter Clarke feels that although you always want to be up the top end of the League, the Shakers have had a steady season.

Experienced defender Peter Clarke joined the Shakers in the summer of 2015, with Bury’s return to League One football looming, nine months later and he feels that Bury have coped well in a new League and are close to their aim of 50 points, currently sitting in 14th place with 48 points.

Although he has admitted that as soon as that has been accomplished they will not settle with just survival and will then look to keep progressing up the table to see how high they can finish.

This is helped by the team not being far off the play-off places— they are only seven points away from the top six with eleven games to go.

Speaking after Bury’s 0-0 draw with Bradford City, Peter Clarke said: “It’s been a steady season, a season of progress. We had a really good spell through the September and October period which raised expectation.

“You always want to do well and be as high in the division as you can be, but there was always going to be a time when you go through a sticky spell.

“It wasn’t too long ago when we perhaps went through that, but we’ve now seemingly come out the other side of it and have picked up a good amount of points in the past two or three weeks.

“We aren’t a million miles off those top six places, and at the start of the season our target was to get to 50 points as soon as possible.

“We aren’t too far off 50 points and if we get there we’ll kick on and see where our performances take us between now and the end of the season.”

During the campaign Peter Clarke has had a number of defensive partners, especially in the past couple of weeks with the news of Nathan Cameron’s season ending knee injury.

This resulted in a number of re-shuffles in the Shakers defence with Reece Brown being first choice with Clarke, however against Peterborough United last Tuesday Brown had an illness which forced manager David Flitcroft into playing midfielder Tom Soares along side Peter Clarke.

Clarke say’s his experience in the game - with nearly 600 appearances to his name - has helped these players make the transition to the role and put in very impressive performances.

He explained: “You’ve seen one or two things along the way, you’ve learnt one or two things, and you can perhaps guide your younger team mates and use a little bit of that experience.

“Over the course of the season I’ve totted up a few defensive partners up, it’s nice to get a clean sheet and i think Reece (Brown) has done well today (Saturday against Bradford City).

“(Tom) Soares obviously did well the other night not knowing that soon before the game that he was going to play there. I thought Tom put in a really good performance.

“Nathan (Cameron) obviously speaks for himself, he’s had a good season and it’s a shame that he’s now going to miss the rest of the campaign.”

Watch the full interview with Peter Clarke on Shakers PlayerHD below:

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