BURY's assistant manager Joe Parkinson admits joining the Shakers has given him a new lease of life.

Chris Lucketti picked Parkinson to be his number two shortly after becoming the new Bury boss and he joined him in the dug-out for the first time for last week's Checkatrade Trophy win at Walsall.

Snow kept Lucketti waiting for his first home game as manager as Saturday's league match with AFC Wimbledon was postponed due to snow, but Parkinson is already loving life with the Shakers.

The former Everton midfielder coached Preston's youth teams with Lucketti before taking up a similar role at Wigan, where he started his playing career.

The 46-year-old, from Eccles, eventually became Latics' first-team coach, a position he held until November 2016, before Lucketti offered him a route back into the professional game.

“It came out of the blue,” said Parkinson. “I've known Chris for a number years and he rang to say he wanted to meet for a coffee.

“He mentioned what he wanted and I didn't have to think twice. I spoke to the chairman. He's so enthusiastic and positive about what he wants, and I think me and Chris can deliver that, with the rest of the team around us.

“Since I got the call from Chris I’ve had that buzz inside me, which I didn’t think I’d have again. I can’t wait to get going.”

Parkinson was actually first-team coach under Gary Caldwell, who was believed to be a front-runner for the Bury job. They steered Wigan to promotion from League One in 2015/16 and Parkinson believes the Shakers have the potential to emulate that feat.

He said: “I got to know a lot of the details, and that's what you need, to understand what it takes to get out of this division. It's difficult to get out of any division but I can see the tools here.

“It's easy for me to sit here and say all the right things but look at that squad. In the summer when all those signings were going on, I wasn't even connected to the club and I was saying 'wow, they've got him, they've got him', and they're all here now.

“It's about getting them out on that pitch and getting them together. We're positive as a staff and we need to get that into the players to move forward.”

Bury's new management duo have now had time to drill into the players exactly what is expected of them, with hard work the key factor.

And the Shakers' assistant boss feels they have everything they need to drag themselves away from the League One drop zone over the festive period.

“You can see it in the squad,” he added. “On paper, there's so much talent in there – probably too much in the treatment room but that's getting better.

“But looking at the squad, looking at the training facilities, for me there are no excuses. We're going to be putting in all the hard work, and the right work at the right time, and hopefully the results will turn round, which they have started to do.”