BURY striker Tom Pope echoed caretaker manager Chris Brass’s call for more fight and passion as they bid to turn around the club’s 13-game winless streak.

Tom Soares and skipper Antony Kay had a heated exchange on the pitch after Saturday’s 5-1 drubbing at Wimbledon.

Far from condemning the stand-off between two of his most experienced players, the temporary boss said his side needed to show more of that kind of aggression.

And Pope agreed, but took Brass’s stance a step further, dishing out some brutal home truths to the Shakers’ defence following a second shambolic display within a week at Wimbledon.

“You hear people saying they’re obviously not coaching us properly and we’re doing things wrong on the training ground, but you can’t coach that,” said Pope, who returned from the bench on Saturday after spending six weeks out with broken ribs and a punctured lung.

“That’s not coachable, that’s just downright stupid defending.

“Wimbledon aren’t even a good side and in four games we conceded about 15, 16 goals against them. You can’t expect your strikers (to keep bailing you out). The last two games we have played, we would have had to score six goals to win a game of football – you can’t do it!

“At the minute it looks like a few players have become complacent. I want to get players on their toes. If somebody needs a rollicking out there then I’ll give it to them.”

Pope’s honest assessment obviously had the desired effect as Bury put in a gutsy display in Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United.

However, the forward says he is still “gutted” former manager David Flitcroft was sacked.

“I think it was on Facebook and Twitter before anyone from the club even phoned us,” Pope said. “I’m still gutted now. None of the backroom staff know where their futures lie. We are playing for their jobs.

“If we keep putting performances in like that (against Wimbledon) then our futures are going to be uncertain as well. I have been out for six weeks and it has been quite painful to watch. I just want to get out there and help the team.”