CLUB captain Stephen Dawson has told his Bury team-mates they have nothing to fear when they host Wigan this Saturday.

The Shakers’ survival hopes are fading as three games without a win has left them 10 points from safety, with nine games left.

Wigan reached the FA Cup quarter-finals and will go top of League One if they win their games in hand, but Dawson insists there is plenty of fight left in Ryan Lowe’s men.

“We’ve got to give it everything because while we’ve still got a chance, we’ve got to believe we can win games,” said the Irish midfielder.

“Probably everyone outside the club thinks we’ll get beat by Wigan so we’ve got nothing to lose. We can play with no fear and just go out and enjoy it.

“The last few results have been disappointing, to get only one point out of nine has knocked the stuffing out of the team, but we still believe we’ve got a chance.

“Lowey has kept it positive this week. He’s told us that everyone in football thought we were down with 20 games to go. Now there are nine games to go and we’ve still got a chance so let’s just go out and embrace the challenge of facing, what I believe, is the best team in the league.”

Dawson returned from injury over Christmas but admits he came back too soon. The 32-year-old has since been left out and made his first appearance in five games during last Saturday’s defeat at MK Dons.

“I rushed back because of the position we were in and I regret that now,” he added.

“I wasn’t fit enough, I wasn’t doing myself justice, so I spoke to Lowey about four or five weeks ago about coming out of the team.

“I’d missed the last month of my rehab so the last few weeks I’ve been getting up to speed.

“Hopefully I’m back to the level I was before the injury and can get back to being the captain and leading this team.”