RICHIE Barker has strengthened his midfield options with the signature of former Crewe and MK Dons playmaker Mark Carrington.

The 24-year-old, who is without a club, has been training with the Shakers for the past three weeks and has signed a one-month contract.

He will go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Yeovil should international clearance arrive in time.

“Mark looks like he is worth a short-term deal with us,” Barker said.

“Training matches have passed him by at times, but I could see the ability he had and what he is capable of.

“Because he has not played for four months he is a little behind the pace, but there is plenty of talent there.

“He is very athletic, decent on the ball and he reads the game well for a 24-year-old.

“He has bags of enthusiasm and he has settled in well.”

Carrington might need to work on his match fitness, but he is in contention for a place on the bench against the Glovers.With only four weeks to make his mark, Barker is hoping the Warrington-born ace can push for a place in his starting line-up sooner rather than later.

“I want to be sitting here in a month talking about a new deal for Mark,” said Barker.

“It is in his own hands now. He has got to push for a place in my team.

“It’s quite useful in a way because it gives me time to assess my options in midfield.

“By the time Mark’s deal runs out, we will also be coming to the end of the loan spells for Giles Coke and Shane Byrne.

“I have got the next month to decide what direction to take – whether that is us extending some loans, or offering Mark a new contract.”

Bury skipper Steven Schumacher, who is celebrating the birth of his first child, Claudia, this week, returns to the squad on Saturday, but Mark Hughes and Mark Cullen remain sidelined.

“It will be a tough game on Saturday, Yeovil work hard and they never give up the cause,” added Barker.

“It’s going to be a tough month, but we are confident.