BURY manager Richie Barker has hailed the Shakers fans for the reception they gave former Gigg Lane favourites Ryan Lowe and Mike Jones at Hillsborough.

Unfortunately for Barker, both men played a key role in Bury’s 4-1 defeat to the Owls on Tuesday night, but he said they richly deserved the recognition they received from the fans who made the journey to south Yorkshire.

It was something of a masterstroke from new Wednesday boss Dave Jones, as both players had only been on the fringe of the first team squad under his predecessor, Gary Megson. Lowe has made only 10 first-team starts for the Owls, while Jones has started only twice since his move to Hillsborough at the end of January.

“It’s a fantastic place to play,” said boyhood Wednesday fan Barker. “I am sure Ryan and Mike will go from strength to strength now. You can’t knock Ryan and Mike for making the decision to move. They got a great reception and that’s quite right because they played a part in getting us where we are.”

Barker was disappointed with the crowd of 17,000, though.

“When I was coming here, there would be more than 40,000 fans and you had to be here by 2pm on a Saturday or you wouldn’t get a seat.”

He also had strong criticism for his players, who he said lacked desire.

“It didn’t mean enough to them,” said Barker. “I never thought I’d say that because I back my players every week, but one or two of them seem to be thinking they can just turn up and defend in the way they used to and get away with it.”

And he promised to wield the axe ahead of Saturday’s trip to Carlisle United.

“There will be a few disappointed people when I announce the team for Carlisle.”