KEVIN Blackwell is hoping for a timely boost ahead of Bury's tough trip to MK Dons on Saturday.

While Peter Sweeney's departure has left the Shakers boss with only 16 fit first team players to take to stadium:mk, he is confident of adding Wolves loanee Ethan Ebanks-Landell in time for the match.

"We have held talks over extending his deal and that should all be tied up before the weekend," confirmed Blackwell.

The 20-year-old defender played eight games for Bury before his loan deal ran out on January 3, but is now likely to extend his stay until the end of the season.

Bury have already secured longer deals for four of the six loan players they recruited during the early part of the season.

Leeds United’s 20-year-old midfielder Zac Thompson, who had been keeping Sweeney out of the Bury starting 11, has agreed to extend his loan deal until the end of the season. That followed Leicester City’s decision to allow 19-year-old striker Tom Hopper to stay at Gigg Lane until the end of the campaign, while Wanderers winger Gregg Wylde and QPR striker Troy Hewiit have extended their loan deals until January 22.

Bury certainly need them, with a transfer embargo blocking the club from registering any new players during the current transfer window.

Andrai Jones and Hewitt are the latest players to be added to a growing list of absentees, struck down by the winter sickness bug.

“We will probably have to play players out of position on Saturday, and I expect to have to do that for the remainder of the season, unless I can sign four or five new players,” added Blackwell.

Bury will only be allowed to do that if the directors can repay a loan to the PFA, which triggered the Football League's transfer embargo.