THE return of Ryan Lowe to the dugout this weekend could be just the boost Bury need to secure back-to-back league victories for the first time in 2018.

Free from a two-match suspension, the Shakers boss will be back in the building and seeking three points against Grimsby Town at Gigg Lane.

Assistant boss Rob Kelly presided over last Saturday’s win against Morecambe and a Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Rochdale. And he admits it will be a relief to get back to normality after Lowe was forced to watch the last two games via an internet stream from his hotel room.

“It has been a little bit strange,” he told the Bury Times. “I’ve been in the game a while now and it’s never happened to me before. I’ve been in charge of teams on a caretaker basis but I have never seen a manager who’s not allowed in the ground. Ryan has been able to prepare the team and tell them what he wanted from them in the build-up but it hasn’t quite been the same.”

Adam Thompson, captain for the night at Spotland, believes Lowe’s return can add an extra spark to the players’ performances.

“We can’t use it as an excuse for not playing well because he’s been there to do all the preparation,” he said. “We know our jobs but when things aren’t going right – like the first half (at Rochdale) he’s not there to give us instruction. Maybe we missed that.

“It’ll be a big boost having him back on Saturday because he does get us going a lot.”

Consistency has been difficult to find for Bury so far this season but Thompson believes the raft of new players brought to the club during the summer window are now beginning to bed down.

“There is going to be that problem when you bring new players in – what are they like? How do they react to certain situations? It happens to everyone, even the top Premier League teams.

“I think there might have been a few teething problems but we’re starting to sort them out.

“Our home record has been great – two wins and a draw. It’s just the away form we need to sort out now. I know it’s early doors but if we beat Grimsby on Saturday we’ll be up around the play-off positions.”