BURY caretaker manager Chris Brass faces a defensive headache as he looks to end a club record run of 10 straight league defeats at Bristol Rovers on Saturday. 

The Shakers are on the verge of another unwanted record – they will equal a 15-game winless run set by Norman Bullock’s Bury in 1946 if they fail to take three points at the Memorial Ground.

They obviously need to score to avoid equalling that mark, but Bury's biggest problem of late has been keeping clean sheets. 

The absence of skipper Antony Kay will only make that task hard. Shakers' captain is suspended for the clash after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Millwall last time out. 

Fellow centre-back Niall Maher will also miss out after he was sent off for a deliberate handball in the 3-2 defeat against the Lions. 

And with the club's only other senior defender Leon Barnett doubtful due to a calf strain – Brass may have to hand a first start to 16-year-old Jacob Bedeau. 

“We do have a patched up squad but moving forwards we have to make sure we don’t keep giving away cheap yellow cards and fouls,” Brass told the Bury Times

“The Christmas schedule is hectic so we need our best 18 players fit and everybody available.

"I know we have lost players through suspension and injuries, which has really hindered results throughout the season. 

“Players are slowly coming back – they have had to put a lot of work in and they are starting to come back. 

“With Leon (Barnett) we need to address the timescale, but Jacob (Bedeau) did well when he came on against Millwall and has done well in training throughout the season, so he is ready to be thrown into the firing line.” 

After a hectic start as temporary boss, with three games in eight days, the break in league fixtures for the second round of the FA Cup gave Brass and his players the chance to regroup.

The caretaker manager has recalled goalkeeping coach Ian Wilcock to the first-team staff and he is delighted with the way everybody is pulling in the same direction. 

“The past two weeks have been positive,” Brass said. “We have had chance to settle the lads down a bit, it gave us a chance to refocus. 

“We have been able to put in the work needed and the lads have responded well, they have a good work ethic and are buying into what we are doing. 

“Myself, Ryan (Kidd), Sedge (Chris Sedgewick) and Wilco have all shared the schedule – it has been all hands on deck.

“I am pleased they have all stepped forward, it’s what you need in any establishment to be successful.”