CARETAKER manager Ryan Lowe has admitted his Bury players almost came to blows after Tuesday night's embarrassing FA Cup exit.

The Shakers were not only knocked out of the competition but suffered a humiliating 3-0 home defeat by non-league Woking.

After going unbeaten in his first three games in charge, that appears to have dashed Lowe's hopes of getting the job permanently.

And the club legend has told the players there is no more Mr Nice Guy as he bids to stop the rot.

The player-coach must restore a united front as the Shakers were on the verge of infighting after Tuesday's dismal display – and now they have two crucial home games in the space of four days.

Lowe said: “The dressing room was angry, flat, there was arguing and potentially wanting to fight each other.

“But I want to see fighting on the pitch. They've got to show some pride now and show that they care because there's serious questions to be asked of them.

“I've stopped being 'Lowey, their mate' for a week or so. I've had to take a step back in terms of mixing with them as much. They've been a different class and I'm hoping this is just a blip, but you can't get away with not being told. And I've had to tell them, I've had to raise my voice.

“I've told them to go home and have a look at themselves. As long as I'm sitting here then they've got to perform for this club and this badge.”

Despite last Saturday's positive draw at Gillingham, Bury still slipped to the bottom of League One, and now they host seventh-placed Blackburn tomorrow before welcoming league leaders Shrewsbury in midweek.

And that is in front of a home crowd which questioned their integrity, chanting “you're only here for the money” during the Cup upset.

“I hope the players are hurting and it's a kick up the backside,” Lowe added.

“We can't do that again because this place is going to be packed, hopefully we'll see a different Bury.

“They need to show some personal pride because people are asking 'are they really that good?'

“They've got to get their head round it because the games are coming thick and fast. It'll be a big ask to pick them up but we've got to try to do that.”