JERMAINE Beckford aims to start repaying the Bury fans as the Shakers hit the road this week.

Bury face two away games in four days – at Colchester United on Saturday then Northampton Town on Tuesday – and Beckford could be handed his first start for almost a year.

The 34-year-old striker came off the bench during last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Carlisle to make his first appearance since October 28 last year. The ex-Everton and Bolton forward scored eight goals from 15 starts last season before suffering a knee injury which then required surgery.

“It was amazing to be back out there,” he said. “The reception I got was fantastic so I want to thank each and every one of the fans for their patience, and also for accepting me and appreciating the work that I’ve put in in the past.

“Hopefully I can replicate what I did last season and maybe take it on a bit further.

“Every day is progress and I’m still working hard to get back to where I was before the injury.

“It was a bittersweet moment,” added Beckford, who remained Bury’s top scorer until George Miller drew level on the last day of the season.

“It was great that I was able to come back, it’s been a very frustrating time. But it was a tough loss to take because I think we were the better side.

“We just didn’t take our chances and gave away a sloppy goal.

“But if we keep creating the same amount of chances I’m sure we’ll score a lot of goals.”

Although Beckford could only watch as Bury suffered relegation last term, he believes they are heading in the right direction under Ryan Lowe and coach Steve Schumacher.

“With the gaffer and Schuey having a clean slate from the beginning of the season, they’ve been able to implement their tactics and game plans,” he said.

“It’s great to watch. I’ve been up in the stands however long and I’ve been excited to watch it, and to get back on there. If the fans are feeling half as excited as I am then it’s going to be a great time.”