ALAN Knill says his Bury players will come through their mini-slump better for the experience.

Tuesday night’s defeat to Bradford means they have lost four of their last five games, but Knill believes his men have the mental strength and natural ability to return to winning ways – and the promotion places.

“It’s not gloom and doom, that’s for sure,” said Knill, whose side have lost their last three. “The good thing is that we have already got points on the board.

“It is a blip, but as a manager you look for a lot of things and the effort and commitment are there, which are the biggest.

“The players have shown they are good enough already – now it’s just about seeing things through.

“If you’d have asked me if I would have taken 22 points after three months of the season I’d have said yes, knowing that we can get better.

“The games we have lost are not through being torn apart or teams being better than us – for three of the games we have given our opponents goals.

“It’s such a fine line in football, but you just have to keep going. It’s one of those things, losing happens whether you are Manchester United or Bury.

“I have been in football long enough to know it happens, and it is how you react to it that matters.

“I’m sure the team and the squad are strong enough to come through it.”

Bury won’t have long to dwell on the defeats, with a trip to Notts County on Saturday being quickly followed by a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to Darlington on Tuesday night. The games are coming thick and fast for the Shakers, who will be without suspended defender Efe Sodje and midfielder Stephen Dawson against Darlington after they both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season against Bradford.

However, Knill is looking forward to getting his team back on to the pitch – and back to winning ways.

“It’s been a tough month,” said the Shakers boss. “I must admit, however, I never expected us to lose three games.

“I’m disappointed with that, but we have to pick ourselves up and believe in ourselves. I’m sure we will turn it around because we have some strong characters.”