Clark was full of praise for defenders Thompson and O’Connell and said: -
“Adam is a player that I knew all about, but got to see him in action during our final game of the season at Southend. He was a part of the Southend team that has come up from League Two, and carried on that progression with them as they climbed the table towards the play-offs.”
Lee had a hard battle to get his man to come to Bury and admitted that Phil Brown at Southend tried to keep him: “I know that Southend were trying very hard to keep him at Roots Hall. He’s also just been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad as well, which shows just how well he has been doing, so we were delighted to get that one over the line.”
Speaking of another defensive signing, Clark was adamant that he had got his man by signing former Celtic defender Eoghan O’Connell. “Eoghan is a lad that I know very well. I tried to take him to Kilmarnock on loan from Celtic, but at the time the lad wanted to try his hand in the English game and he went on loan to Walsall. I kept my eye on him and for me, he handled League One very well.
“Both Adam and Eoghan have plenty of room for improvement. I believe we have two very young and exciting defenders that will complement each other, and will complement Nathan Cameron as well.”
Whilst Clark believes his defensive signings are now complete, the addition of Jay O’Shea, fresh after collecting a League One Championship medal just last month, was certainly a surprise to many outside the Club.
“Jay O’Shea is another player that has been at the right end of League One and contributed to Sheffield United’s Championship. He ticks plenty of boxes with the ability to play that number ten position, he can play wide and he can create goals and score goals.
“He has a good goal ratio, a good assist ratio and that is something we want from our attacking players. We want players that can make, and score goals. The three acquisitions on top of what we have already done in the window, I am delighted with.”
With players arriving at Carrington, further departures have also left the Club. With 22 players having left Bury since Clark’s appointment on 14 February and 8 new additions, the manager explained why players had left since the retained list was published.
“Tom Pope, Leon Barnett and Jack Mackreth have left us in recent weeks. I’ve had to be honest with all of them and told them that I cannot guarantee them game time next season. That’s 22 players out and only 8 in. We are going for quality not quantity and there will certainly not be 22 replacements.
“We are in the market for two or three additions. There will be further departures with Neil Danns, Ben Williams and Antony Kay, all three have been told that even though they are under contract to us, we believe that for the sake of their own careers, there are other avenues for them to follow with other clubs.
“I cannot promise them the game time that they deserve. I have a lot of respect for all three of them and we have told them that if they find the right club for themselves, then we will not stand in their way.”
The video interview with Lee Clark is available to view free of charge by clicking here