Bury take on Cheltenham Town tonight knowing a victory will take them to the summit of League Two.
The Shakers are in confident mood having been unbeaten in their previous eleven league games, winning the last four in a row, form which has prompted Cheltenham manager Michael Duff to praise them as the best team in the division on the eve of this evenings encounter at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Previewing the game on the club’s website Duff said ‘They’re the best team in the league for me, Bury. I’ve just found out they’ve scored 91 goals in all competitions – I think only Man City have scored more.’
‘They’re free-flowing, they’ve not lost since Boxing Day I don’t think, so we’ll need to turn up and be a little bit more tuned in, in key moments of the game.’
Duff has done an impressive job at the Gloucestershire outfit, making Cheltenham a more competitive proposition since taking over from Gary Johnson in September, especially at home.
The Robins have won their last four league games on home soil and will be aiming to win five in a row at home in the Football League for the first time since April 2013.
Duff was keen to highlight their excellent home form, insisting his team will go into the match in a positive frame of mind. He said ‘We’ve lost one in 15 at home. We’ve got a good home record so we need to take the game to them whilst being aware of their threats so that’s why the selection needs to give you that balance because we’ve got good players and we can use the ball well as well.’
The last meeting between the sides saw the Shakers run out comfortable 4-1 winners at Gigg Lane in November, which included a brace from eighteen goal top scorer Nicky Maynard.
Cheltenham will no doubt be looking to their own dangerman to fire them to victory. Luke Varney has been directly involved in six of the Robins last ten goals at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium with five goals and one assist.
After a poor start to the season which saw Gary Johnson lose his job, the Robins are now seventeenth in League Two on forty-one points.
Should be a cracking game tonight. Cheltenham will consider the game a chance to measure just how far they have progressed under Duff. A win would give them a lot of confidence and optimism for the future.
For Bury, its a test of their championship credentials. They have been chipping away at Lincolns lead for a couple of months, and tonight the onus will be on them to stamp their authority on the League.
It will not b easy for the Shakers, the Robins are playing with freedom at home knowing they are now all but safe from relegation. The pressure will be on Bury, but I think they have enough quality to come away with three points and take the top spot from Lincoln.