STEPHEN Dawson has begun talks over a new contract at Bury.

The Shakers captain’s current deal expires next summer and he insists he wants to stay at Gigg Lane.

Irish midfielder Dawson, who is 24 tomorrow, has been a revelation since joining the club from Mansfield 17 months ago, earning rave reviews with his all-action displays in the middle of the park.

He is free to talk to potential suitors in January, but he is hoping a deal can be struck to stay at Gigg Lane.

“We’re talking at the minute and hopefully something can be sorted out,” said Dawson. “I have had chats with the club and hopefully we can go on from there. I am happy here, I want to stay. But it’s about the team at the moment, not me.”

Dawson was disappointed to see his side’s 11-game unbeaten run in League Two come to an abrupt halt on Tuesday night, but has backed his team-mates to bounce back from the 3-0 defeat.

“We know we can be better than we were against Morecambe, but it’s one defeat in 12 and we shouldn’t start being too downhearted by it,” he said. “All we can do now is put it right against Barnet on Saturday.

“We’ll stick together and we know what we can do so hopefully we’ll get the fans behind us against Barnet and go from there.

“It’s a big test for us to bounce back and we are more than capable of doing that. We have not lost two on the trot too many times and we are already preparing for Saturday.”

The Christie Park defeat saw Bury drop out of the play-off places, but Dawson believes a good run over the festive period can set the side up for the rest of the season.

“We are three points off fifth place in the league,” he said. “It’s a really tight division at the moment and Christmas time is going to be a crucial period.”

Michael Jones is the latest player to suffer with injury and he could miss Saturday’s game with a knock on his knee. Ryan Cresswell, Andy Bishop, Tom Elliott, Danny Carlton and Damien Allen also remain sidelined.