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City’s third-choice keeper Richard Wright, who has been earmarked for a coaching role with the Blues, was in the stands for Tuesday night's 0-0 draw against Crewe .

Editor, Manchester Evening News editor-in-chief MEN Media and Trinity Mirror Huddersfield

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He had been at League Two Barnet on loan where he had made five outings.

With Rob Lainton out injured, Flitcroft had to bring in another keeper this month and struck up an agreement with City over Lawlor.

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Bury looking to book place in fifth round with home tie at Gigg Lane

Pope arrived on loan from Charlton last January and kept 13 clean sheets in 22 matches, a run which steered the Shakers to automatic promotion from League Two.

Another City youth product has played an important role in Bury’s recent revival.

Irish youngster Ian Lawlor leaves the Etihad Stadium to join League One side until the end of the season

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"We have monitored Ian's progress since he signed for City and have been impressed with his form in development games," said Bury boss David Flitcroft.

Dublin-born Lawlor joined City's youth academy from Home Farm in 2010 and was called into Republic of Ireland squad in 2014 but is yet to win a cap.

Lawlor, who had his first loan stint with League Two Barnet in December, is now preparing for an FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Championship leaders Hull on Saturday.

“He was outstanding,” he added. “In fact, Steve Parkin, Bradford’s assistant manager, who I love to bits, he came over and said ‘wow!’

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“The intensity and aggression we showed against Crewe was great,” Flitcroft added. “I thought Kelvin destroyed every offensive play that they had.

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“Ryan Colclough is a fantastic player, he’s scored eight goals for them this season and is one of their top performers, but he didn’t get a kick. Kelvin was brilliant in there.

“The way Ian managed the game, Steve said it was as though he’s played 400 league games.

He added: "We are delighted to secure Ian to the end of the season and he will add great competition with Rob Lainton for the number one jersey."

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“Bradford and Oldham were the same. We had that aggression that I demand from my players and the rewards that they’re getting, the clean sheets, are because of the hard work they’re putting in.”

“It was a performance that I wanted, like the second half against Walsall when he had that ferocious performance.

“That’s now four clean sheets out of five,” said the Bury boss.

David Flitcroft believes that keeper Ian Lawlor is having the same impact at Bury as Nick Pope did last season.

The 6ft 4in keeper was the hero of last week’s third round replay at Bradford, when he ensured Bury earned a 0-0 draw after extra-time before saving two penalties in the shoot-out .

Ian Lawlor celebrates Bury's FA Cup win at Bradford

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Lawlor , Ian - Bury (ENG)

Kelvin Etuhu had a three-month lay-off through injury before returning to action in November. And, playing in a holding midfield role, the 27-year-old has shown in recent weeks that he is back to his best.

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Rob joined Trinity Mirror in 2001 and was editor of the Daily Post North Wales for seven years. He was also publishing director for Trinity Mirror North Wales and Cheshire.

Ian John Lawlor (born 27 October 1994) is an Irish professional footballer who plays for Manchester City as a goalkeeper.

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:24, 12 December 2015 (UTC).

“He looked like a seasoned pro and his overall performance was pristine.”

His protege didn’t have much to do as Bury dominated proceedings, but Flitcroft believes Lawlor’s presence and composure have provided the same stability that Pope did.

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Lawlor has represented his native Ireland throughout youth level, though primarily as second choice to Joe Coll. In 2014, he was called up to the senior squad following an injury to Rob Elliot, appearing on the bench for friendlies against Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal.[8] In October 2016, Lawlor was called into the senior squad again for World Cup qualifying following an injury to Keiren Westwood.[9]

Rob Irvine was appointed editor-in-chief of MEN Media and Trinity Mirror Huddersfield in April 2012.