DEFENDER Adam Thompson is eager to help keep the Shakers in League One after a bizarre start to his Bury career.

Lee Clark beat off competition to sign the Northern Ireland international on a three-year deal from Southend last summer.

Yet after just three games he sent the centre-half on loan to League One rivals Bradford for the rest of the season.

Clark went on to be sacked in October and his replacement, Chris Lucketti, had two dismal months in charge before Bradford agreed to let Thompson rejoin the Shakers early in January, with Ryan Lowe then manager.

Bury have conceded just one goal in the two games Thompson has started since returning to Gigg Lane and the 25-year-old is set to come back into the starting line-up on Saturday as loanee Peter Clarke is ineligible to face his parent club Oldham.

“The fans didn't really get to see much of me,” Thompson told the Bury Times.

“Obviously, the manager at the time, I felt his decision was wrong. I don't think it was through my performances that I left, but I'm not sure what his thinking was.

“There were quite a few players that he let go so I wouldn't say I feel I have a point to prove.

“I think it's a fresh start and a challenge that I've not had before, being near the bottom of the table.

“I've usually been near the top, with Southend in League Two and League One, and then with Bradford this season, so it's a new challenge but one I really hope we can achieve.”

Clark told the press at the time he was not afraid to admit when he had made a mistake and to make difficult decisions with players, even if he had signed them.

Yet Thompson said Clark made no attempt to either discuss his performances or explain his decision to loan him out so soon after signing him.

“He didn't tell me anything, he just rang my agent, so I didn't speak to him at all about his decision,” he added. “Different managers have different methods and that was just his method.

“But Ryan Lowe has been good for me, it's brilliant to be back.

“At the beginning of the season, it was a bit strange how things happened. But I've come back and I'm ready again, I'm refreshed and want to do everything I can for the lads to help this last push to keep us up.

“There's a new staff, a few new players have come in and a few have gone out so there's a very different feel to the club.

“We've been doing quite well since I came back as well so the morale around the place is quite high at the moment.”

Thompson puts a lot of that down to Lowe, with the Shakers having lost just once in seven games since he took over from Lucketti.

The former Watford trainee reckons his new manager is capable of leading Bury to survival and could have a bright future in management.

“It was a bit strange coming back because when I left he was a player and we were team-mates,” said Thompson.

“But he's slotted into that role seamlessly and he's showing his credentials already with the results we've got. With his record so far, he's proving he can be a very good manager, as well as a good player.

“As a player, he was a good personality to have around the dressing room. He still is now but he can't have as much of a friendship with the lads because now he's the gaffer, it's a completely different role.

“He's slotted straight into it, you'd think he'd been a manager for years. The lads completely respect him. He set out his stall early on about what he expects from the lads, what he wants in training, what he wants in games, and I think the lads have shown that in matches so far.

“We always give 100 per cent, we're very hard to beat and we're hard working, so he's definitely got us playing.

“He's focused on the basics and got that team togetherness into us pretty early. We're all working for each other now. At the beginning of the season it was hard because there were a lot of new faces and we didn't gel together that well, or that quickly.

“Even as the season's gone on you're waiting for it to gel, but he's come in and he's changed that. It just feels a lot happier, we're more together and, as a result of that, we're working harder and better performances have shown on the pitch.”

Thompson earned two caps for Northern Ireland in 2011 and despite being called up again last summer, he was an unused substitute.

And although Thompson admits it is unlikely he will be in contention for Northern Ireland's two-match tour of Central America this summer, he has not given up hope.

“I need to play regular games and we need to stay up for me to be thought of in that squad,” he said.

“At the moment my first thought is that I help the club stay up, and if we can do that, then it might lead to other things.”