RYAN Lowe believes Bury have shown they have the quality and spirit to challenge for promotion from League Two.

The Shakers were arguably the better side in their first two league games, despite losing 1-0 at MK Dons last Saturday.

Then, only a stoppage-time equaliser denied them a Carabao Cup win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, before the Championship side won on penalties.

Lowe made five changes to the starting XI he chose for each of their opening two games and many of the players not named in the matchday squad still travelled to the City Ground.

And that, along with the manner of Bury’s performance, suggests they have banished the memories of last season’s relegation and regrouped following a dismal campaign.

“Team spirit’s massive – because I make sure it is,” said boss Lowe. “That’s why I brought in the players I have. I’m big on nights out, togetherness, meals – whatever it is. We don’t want no big-time Charlies because that doesn’t get you anywhere.

“Any successful team I’ve been in there’s always been that togetherness, it’s like a family, and that’s what we’ve got. That’s why I brought all the lads down, because I wanted them to sit in the stand and support the lads who’ve been supporting them the last few weeks.

“I wanted to freshen things up because we’ve got a strong squad and the players that came in were fantastic.

“They were a bit disappointed in the dressing room but it’s a happy camp.

“Togetherness is something I’m massive on. There’s no ‘I’ in team and it’s the team that makes you successful.”

Asked if Tuesday’s display showed that Bury will compete this season, Lowe replied: "100 per cent. We've built that squad and it gives me a headache for Saturday but that's welcome. I want healthy competition for places.

"Whoever I pick they'll respect it because they know if they keep performing like that then more chances will be round the corner. Not one of them did themselves any harm."

Bury return to league action on Saturday as they host their first-ever game against Forest Green, who have four points so far and won 1-0 at Swindon in the Carabao Cup.

"They've got some decent players but we know what they'll be about," said Lowe.

"We want to implement what we've done in the last two games and hopefully get a bit more luck.

"We know what our aim is and if we keep performing like we did today and against MK Dons – and Yeovil to an extent – then we won't be far off."