NICKY Maynard has stressed promotion is the aim for Bury this season after joining the Shakers last week.

The former West Ham striker was a free agent after being released by Aberdeen at the end of last season and trained with his first club Crewe in pre-season.

Then, after failing to earn a deal with Oxford, Maynard spent 10 days with Bury before being signed in time for last Saturday’s win at Colchester.

The 31-year-old from Winsford, whose initial deal runs to January, made his debut off the bench before starting Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw at Northampton.

“I’d been itching to play but was waiting for international clearance,” he said. “I’m glad I’m here now and hopefully I can help the team push on and get that promotion.

“The gaffer’s given me an opportunity to show what I can do. I didn’t have the best of seasons last season but he’s got every faith in me and hopefully I can repay that by scoring a few goals.”

Maynard earned a £2.25million move from Bristol City to West Ham in January 2012 but has claimed just 16 goals since, failing to score in 25 appearances for Aberdeen last term.

With neither Jermaine Beckford nor Chris Dagnall playing in midweek, Maynard faces competition for a place as David Flitcroft, the man who last led Bury to promotion in 2015, brings his Mansfield side to Gigg Lane this Saturday.

“If we want to get out of this league we’ve got to keep the consistency and the results going,” Maynard added. “You don’t want just two strikers in the squad knowing they’re going to play every week. They get too comfortable.

“You want people who are going to push them to do as well as they can to keep the shirt, but at the same time we all want the same thing at the end of the season, and that’s to go up.”

Tuesday’s draw leaves Bury joint-eighth in League Two, with Mansfield two points behind in 14th after their 0-0 draw with Oldham in midweek.

Eoghan O’Connell (hamstring) remains doubtful after coming off at half-time at Colchester.