DEFENDER Adam Thompson feels Bury have restored their reputation as they prepare to return to League One.

The Shakers finished bottom of the division by some distance in 2017/18, but they regrouped last summer and have bounced straight back.

In Ryan Lowe’s first full season as manager he led them to a runners-up finish and Thompson, who missed just two league games, reckons no one will take them lightly next term.

“I think we’ve done ourselves proud this year,” he said. “I think we’ve given ourselves a good reputation.

“People I speak to within the game are like ‘Bury are a great footballing team’. I think people are starting to hear about us, the way we play and the characters we have. Without us all pulling together, we wouldn’t get that individual recognition. It’s great to be thought of that highly.

“This time last year it wasn’t a great place but now it’s come full circle. It’s such a different feeling, I can’t believe how much it has turned round.

“That’s credit to the gaffer, all the staff, everyone, for making it a happy place to come into again.”

In particular Thompson has praised the attitude of the fans and the staff to brush off adversity, not just relegation but also the club’s recent financial problems.

“Everyone was so down last year, especially the fans,” he said.

“Quite a few of the lads were here last year as well but the fans haven’t tarred us with that brush and said ‘we don’t want you, get out of our club’.

“They’ve said ‘okay, we understand what’s happened, we’re going to get behind you this season as well’, and that’s special.

“With the circumstances off the pitch, it can become so much harder.

“You think ‘we’re giving our all here but not being rewarded for it, we’re not being paid’.

“That could have really affected us, if we didn’t have the characters and the mentality we have in the dressing room and among the staff.

“They weren’t being paid as well and I’m guessing a few of them were in a worse position than we were.

“There were two ways we could go – and we chose to get promoted and sort it out after – so that made winning promotion even more special.”

Bury’s efforts to cut costs has continued with sporting director Lee Dykes leaving the club this week.

However, the team’s success has also reflected well on Dykes as he was swiftly announced as the head of recruitment at Championship club Brentford.