MARK Carrington is enjoying doing the midfield dirty work for Bury after recovering from a worrying blood clot in his leg that kept him out of action at the start of the season.

Carrington’s influence has grown since he was drafted into Richie Barker’s side in place of Leicester City loanee Shane Byrne, who was an ever-present in the Shakers line up until he suffered an ankle injury in the 4-1 defeat at Colchester on December 10.

With Byrne still struggling with injury, the 24-year-old midfielder looks likely to line up alongside captain Steven Schumacher and in-form Peter Sweeney in a fluid 4-3-3 formation against Sheffield United at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

Carrington arrived in the summer from Scottish club Hamilton on a short-term contract with a reputation as a silky smooth ball player, but it is the more ugly side of his game that has come to the fore in his four appearances since the injury to holding midfielder Byrne.

And Warrington-born Carrington has been rewarded for his willingness to roll up his sleeves and work for the team with a contract until the end of the season.

He also revealed that two years at MK Dons under former England legend Paul Ince helped him develop the nastier side of the game.

“I definitely enjoy doing the dirty role,” said Carrington.

“I will do anything the team requires. I was brought up at Crewe and I like to get on the ball and play, but, with Sweens and Schuey – who are both really good footballers – in the side, sometimes you have to step back, otherwise we get in each other’s way.

“I did a little bit of it at MK Dons under Paul Ince. He asked me to be a bit nastier and do the dirty side and it’s a job I don’t mind doing.”

Carrington is slowly getting back up to speed and looked visibly sharper in his last outing – the 2-1 home defeat of Walsall – before the squad took advantage of thebreak for the FA Cup weekend to spend four days training in Spain. Meanwhile, he has voiced his delight at his recent contract extension to the end of the season.

“I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “When I came here and suffered my illness, the club were really good and stood by me. I had a blood clot in my leg and it swelled up to a massive size, but luckily I am over it now and I just want to play football.

“It’s great to be here until the end of the season, and I want to stay longer if I can.”