Shakers captain Steven Schumacher has told his team-mates they have now been sucked into the League One relegation fight.

The 27-year-old midfielder was speaking in the wake of the Shakers’4-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, when a brace from Michail Antonio and goals from Gary Madine and former Gigg Lane favourite Ryan Lowe gave new Owls boss Dave Jones a pleasing start to his tenure at Hillsborough.

Worringly for Richie Barker’s men, they have now gone 15 matches without keeping a clean sheet and nine without a win.

They stand 15th in the table and are just seven points above the drop zone with teams below them starting to pick up points.

Their target for League One safety was 50 points and they currently have 41, with 11 games still to play and a difficult fixture at seventh-placed Carlisle United on Saturday.

“I think the teams below us have cottoned on that they’re in a dog-fight and they need to start scrapping and I think we maybe thought ‘we’ll be all right, we’ll get the nine, 10 points we need’, but I think the lads have now realised that we are in it and we need to get out of it,” said Schumacher.

The Bury captain said it would be necessary for the Gigg Lane men to show more courage than was evident on Tuesday night in a performance that sparked a furious blast from Barker.

“We need to step up and put our bodies on the line a little bit more – put a head in the way of a cross or stop the cross completely and get on the ball – you need courage to do that,” said Schumacher.

“I think if we do that and we get into our heads that’s what we have to do for the next 11 games then we’ll be okay. We can’t concede four goals – it’s just not good enough.

“It would be a shame if we let all the good work we have done to get where we are just slip away. Overall, we’ve done quite well, but we need to wisen up and stop being so naïve. We need to dig in and show some fight.”

Schumacher is not predicting an easy match at the Cumbrian promotion hopefuls on Saturday.

“Carlisle are the best team we’ve played so far,” he said.

“When I watched them while I was injured earlier in the season, I thought they were unbelievable at our place. They completely deserved to win.”

Schumacher is once more a doubt for the Carlisle clash after being injured for the reverse fixture. He limped off with a suspected hamstring strain four minutes from the end of the Wednesday defeat and was undergoing a scan yesterday.