RYAN Lowe admits pressure is taking its toll on his Bury players as the League One survival scrap nears its conclusion.

Saturday’s home defeat by Wigan kept the Shakers 10 points from safety with now just eight games left.

Bury have two crucial games over Easter weekend, at mid-table Bristol Rovers tomorrow and a derby at home to second-bottom Rochdale on Tuesday.

And, should the Shakers lose them both, they could be as good as down.

“The lads are feeling a bit of pressure because they’re down at the bottom,” said Bury boss Lowe. “I’m trying to take that pressure away from them, I’ll take all the pressure. I’m happy to take the flak because I’m big enough and man enough.

“But sometimes decision-making on the pitch may not be right because they’re feeling that pressure. They take a chance or take an extra touch but sometimes the thing to do is play what you see.”

Bury were not disgraced against Wigan, who are battling it out for the League One title.

And although Lowe accepts they must be more ruthless, he refuses to take a more direct approach and said: “The way I’ll set my team up is to play football but I’d take playing rubbish and winning 1-0.

“When you’re at the bottom no luck goes for you and you are probably tensing up in certain situations because of the pressure.

“When you concede the first goal, your head goes down, but we’ll continue to play football. You’ll always see that under me.”

Bury have taken one point from a possible 12 but, with 24 still to play for, Lowe is not giving up hope of staying up.

He added: “I’ve said to the boys ‘there are eight big games to go and anything can still happen’.

“I know we’re ticking the games off slowly but, while we’ve still got a chance, we’ll keep trying to do the right things.

“I’ll keep trying to have it as bubbly as I can and be positive, you’ve got no other choice.”