BURY manager Ryan Lowe claimed he would be struggling to pick his side for the start of the new season after a disappointing end to pre-season.

The Shakers host Yeovil in their League Two opener this Saturday but preparations were dealt a blow by their final friendly.

Bury were beaten 3-1 by non-league Southport last Saturday and Lowe felt none of his players strengthened their claim for a starting role.

“The only plus was that the lads got the minutes out of it that we wanted,” he said. “They’re all up to scratch now, they’re all on equal minutes.

“The performance wasn’t as good as we wanted, by any stretch. I said last week there’s still plenty of work to do and that proved it.

“I couldn’t pick a starting XI as yet, simple as. I said that to the boys, ‘give me a headache’. But I didn’t come away with any.

“From that performance I can’t put one name on the team sheet as yet, so this last week of training is a big week for us.

“We’ve got plans, we‘ve got ideas, we’ve got personnel and we’ve got formations.

“But we’ve looked at drilling all that down this week and worked on what we need to work on.

“It’s disappointing with the performance – the lads know that, I’ve stressed it to them.

“I’ll stick with them through thick and thin this year because they’re my team. I’ll take responsibility for it.

“But the good thing is they know they weren’t good enough and fair play to Southport, they probably deserved the win.”

Lowe is thought to be mulling over a deal for former Premier League defender Matthew Mills, who has been training with the Shakers squad.