A THIRD defeat in succession leaves Bury’s League One survival hopes hanging by a thread.

The Shakers have been teetering on the brink of relegation it seems for months.

But with games fast running out and the team on a mini losing run it is beginning to feel like there is no way out.

Heroics have been needed for some time, indeed ever since Chris Lucketti’s disastrous brief spell as manager ended.

But now nothing more than a complete turnaround in form and results will do if the Shakers are to avoid the drop to the fourth tier.

Boss Ryan Lowe admits he is getting fed up of his side producing performances but not points after his side again gave a good account of themselves in Saturday’s defeat to title-chasing Wigan without producing the goods clinically in front of the Wigan goal or solidly enough in front of their own.

The visitors simply proved too strong on the day as they roared back into the automatic promotion places.

The goals came from Nick Powell and Chey Dunkley for the Latics as Bury remained bottom of the table, 10 points adrift of safety.

Time continues to run out for the Shakers, and with just eight matches still to play the odds against them surviving are getting ever longer.

There were reasons to take encouragement from the latest setback, according to Lowe, who was relatively happy with some of the aspects of how his side played.

“It’s another tough result for us, because I thought we were the better side at times,” he said.

“To be honest, though, I’m getting a bit sick of being the better side in games and coming away with no points.

“The effort and the commitment was there, but clearly the quality is what’s lacking at the moment.

“We weren’t helped by coming up against Wigan.

“They are a really strong side and will probably go on and secure promotion.

“But I can’t hide my emotions.

“We’re just not taking the points we need and that’s a major problem.

“We need to find that winning formula again somehow, and until we do, I’ll not be frightened to make changes.”

Despite the big challenge facing them against the high-flying Latics, the Shakers began the game in encouraging fashion in front of a big Gigg Lane crowd boosted by a large following from the Lancashire neighbours.

The hosts created the first opening after 15 minutes when central defender Nathan Cameron went up from the back and glanced a header wide from Jay O’Shea’s inswinging corner.

Wigan replied swiftly with Powell seeing a deflected strike well saved by Connor Ripley.

Bury strived to keep the pressure on their lofty visitors, and they went close again in the 21st minute – this time skipper Stephen Dawson side-footed disappointingly over the top.

That missed opportunity was punished after 26 minutes when the Latics broke the deadlock, with Powell clipping home from close range as he met Michael Jacobs’ low cross.

It was almost 2-0 when Bury defender Peter Clarke was forced to hack Jacobs’ shot off the line.

At the other end, the Shakers came close to a leveller when Neil Danns’ piledriver was saved well by Christian Walton.

The Latics upped their tempo further in the second period, and struck again in the 51st minute.

Dan Burn had already gone close, before Dunkley headed home to make it 2-0.

The Shakers kept plugging away, however, and O’Shea forced Walton into a fine stop as he fired in from a tight angle.

“I feel like I need to see a bit more desire from the players, throughout the team, added Lowe.

“Some of them have been scarred by what’s gone on so far this season, and this is no disrespect to them, but there needs to be more desire out there.

“I know I keep harping on about it, but we need to be better in both boxes. That’s crucial.

“It’s my job to keep them smiling and keep them positive.”