DAVE McNabb said there had been a lot of ‘soul searching’ as Bury ended their four-game winless streak with a 2-1 derby win at Prestwich Heys to put their automatic promotion hopes back on track.

Two goals from Connor Coomber sealed victory for the Shakers after Kieron Molloy had given Heys the lead in front of a record attendance at Adie Moran Park.

The win follows Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Wythenshawe at Gigg Lane where the visitors scored an injury time to earn a share of the spoils. Bury remain third in the table, four points behind Wythenshawe Town - but with a game in hand - and level on points with second-placed Wythenshawe.

“I am not going to lie and say the last four games have been easy. That sort of time period, there has been a lot of soul searching and it has been really tough,” he told the club website. “One thing I will say, we are all disappointed with the results and performances leading in to this game but, for me, it is not on the players. 

“The players have been outstanding, they have worked so hard. We are a little bit threadbare at the moment and lads are playing through niggles and knocks, soft tissue injuries are through the roof obviously because of the pitches and what we are asking of them – so many games in such a short space of time.
“But they were colossal and I made up with the three points.”

McNabb was delighted to see his side bounce back from their worst run of results this season.
“First and foremost I thought it was a fantastic game by both teams,” he said. “A game that again is tough on soft pitches, obviously the weather we have had.

“To be fair, when we got here, the pitch was outstanding, obviously it has cut up as the game has gone on. But it was two teams who wanted to play football as best they could.

“I thought it was even for large parts, I thought we took over in spells and when we got the second goal, we just started to sit back a little bit and invite the pressure on but we defended unbelievably well.
“After the first 20 minutes, I thought we were outstanding, our shape was really good.”

McNabb was forced to change his side for the trip to Heys saying playing on soft pitches - especially at Gigg Lane - is proving to be a big problem.

“I would like to say there was a little bit more thought put in to it and it was a tactical genius but it wasn’t.,” he said. “We were at Gigg Lane at 10.30am (on Monday) with player after player coming in and the first three that game in, the physio was saying ‘no can’t play’ so it has been tough. 

“The lads who played have had to have rubs to try and get through the game and we saw it in the game were we lost another two to soft tissue injuries.
“I am not trying to push blame but the pitch we are playing on at home is just not conducive and it is causing us real issues.

The ground staff are (working hard) to get games on which is exactly what we want them to do because we don’t want to be in a position where we are playing every day at the back end.

“But we are putting players on a pitch that is moving, it’s soft, it’s not conducive to playing any type of football and ultimately, based on the input we have had from the physios and what we feel as staff, that is causing a large part of our injuries.”

Bury are back at home on Saturday when they host AFC Liverpool and McNabb says the fans have a big part to play.

“It is going to be challenging,” he said. “I think we are going to have to change the way we want to play a little bit. We will have to give the players a little bit of TLC, get them wrapped in cotton wool. 
“We probably won’t be able to train so we will have to do something together and check the lads and see the physio.

“It is going to be a really, really tough game but we have to make sure we are up for it,” he said. “Obviously (we need) the fans. The noise out of them on Saturday was just ridiculous. If they can bring that again and come in numbers and just stick behind us because it is a fantastic group of players.”