CHAIRMAN Stewart Day has given club legend Ryan Lowe the chance to become the permanent Bury manager.

Lee Clark was sacked on Monday with four straight defeats having left the Shakers second-bottom of League One.

His assistant, Alan Thompson, also left, with Day naming Lowe as caretaker boss.

The 39-year-old player-coach is now in his third spell with Bury and has made no secret of his desire to move into management.

Contrary to earlier reports, Day admits it is now unlikely he will make a permanent appointment before next Saturday's game at relegation rivals Gillingham, so Lowe has at least three games to stake his claim, beginning with Sunday's FA Cup tie at Woking.

“He's a lad that wants to progress,” said Day.

“I've got a fantastic relationship with Ryan, always have done, and I want him to succeed.

“We've got a big game on Sunday and it's something we're eager to win. It's also seeing what the reaction of the players is.

"He's got to get them positive and motivated, and if you start winning games and doing well, who knows where it can take you?

“Sometimes it's good to appoint from within.

"If you've got the players and the personnel you think can do it, and if they want to perform and play for him, then we'll see.

“Ryan's got a support staff of Ryan Kidd and Chris Brass around him, so we'll see how things progress and take it from there.”

Lowe can take heart from League One rivals Oldham, as few gave Richie Wellens a hope of getting the Latics job when he became caretaker boss in September.

Then after four wins and a draw he was appointed ahead of Manchester United legend Paul Scholes.

“It just needs a bit of patience,” Day added.

“We need the fans to be supportive, to get behind the team now.

“We've got Ryan in. He's a fans' favourite and he loves the club, but I wouldn't have put him in charge if I didn't think he was capable of motivating the players.

“I think he's got the skill-set to do that, to drive them on. That's what he needs to do, for now. He needs to help lift the team.

“The lads like him, he's a positive guy and he wants the best for the club. He wants to be successful, he wanted to be given a go and I hope people get behind him.”

Once Day has made a permanent appointment, the Bury chairman is convinced the new man will have enough time to turn around the campaign, not just battle against relegation.

After backing previous boss Lee Clark, who overhauled the squad over the summer, promotion was the target heading into the chairman's fifth year at the helm.

Instead, Clark has paid the price for a poor start, but Day hopes his successor can lead the club back into the second tier – perhaps even this season.

“We wanted to be knocking on the Championship door within five years,” he said.

“If we don't get into the Championship this season then we'll have to look at doing it next season.

“I don't want to be at a club that is happy to be in a division and doesn't really want to fight for things. I want us to progress.”

Crystal Palace were 19th in the Championship when Iain Dowie took charge in December 2003, yet he led them to promotion that season.

And only last term Sheffield United took one point from their first four games before cruising to the League One title.

“I made the decision now because there's still 30 games left so there's a lot of points to play for,” Day added.

“We've seen it before. Clubs have been in worse positions than us and still managed to have a successful season.

“We've only played 16 games so who knows where we can be come the end of May?

“We've got to start getting up the league table, to take each game as it comes, and you never know.

"There's always one club that has a late surge.

“When we got promoted (2014/15), we were about 12th in February and got into the top three, so anything can happen.”