BURY boss Chris Lucketti faces a selection dilemma with Jermaine Beckford set to come back into contention for Saturday's trip to Portsmouth.

Beckford has missed the last eight games after limping out of the 1-0 home defeat by Doncaster at the end of October, which proved to be Lee Clark's last game in charge.

But the former Everton and Leeds striker had already proved his worth to the Shakers having scored eight goals in 16 games since arriving from Preston in the summer.

Lucketti had been impressed by the 'little and large' strike partnership of Nicky Ajose and Michael Smith at Walsall, with Ajose scoring both goals in the Checkatrade Trophy win.

But last Saturday's postponement against AFC Wimbledon not only kept Lucketti waiting for his first home game as boss, it denied Ajose and Smith another chance to stake their claim before Beckford's return.

It will now be difficult for Lucketti to overlook a man who is Bury's top scorer this season, especially as results elsewhere meant the Shakers slipped back to the bottom of League One last weekend.

“It's probably going to be too soon for Stephen Dawson,” added Lucketti, as he sized up his squad ahead of Saturday's game. “He's fit and in full-contact training now but he's just lacking minutes to finalise his rehabilitation.

“Jermaine Beckford's trained this week so that's positive. Hopefully he'll be with us on Saturday, and Danny Mayor's progressing well.

“It'll be a late call as to whether he'll be involved but all three will be welcome additions to the squad. It's great to see them moving in the right direction.”

Lucketti had arranged a behind-closed-doors game with Accrington at Bury's Carrington training base on Tuesday, to give his recuperating players some game time.

The cold weather also put paid to that match but otherwise training hasn't been affected for the trip to Kenny Jackett's in-form Portsmouth. Although the Shakers are three unbeaten, Pompey are seventh in League One after winning six of their last seven.

“We're disappointed the Wimbledon game didn't go ahead but it's given us a solid week's training, getting one or two players closer to a return,” Lucketti added.

“It's been as cold as I've known it for some years but it hasn't affected anything with our plans. We've prepared as normal.

“Portsmouth's a difficult place to go. They're in good form as well so we know we'll have to be at our best to get the three points.”