BURY have been handed a double fitness boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to Peterborough.

Club captain Stephen Dawson and Danny Mayor were surprise inclusions on the bench at Portsmouth last weekend.

Both had missed out on some valuable game-time in midweek as a behind-closed-doors match had to be postponed.

But Mayor came on for the last 25 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat and then the pair came through unscathed after playing 45 minutes of a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday, which this time got the go-ahead at Carrington.

Dawson is club captain while winger Mayor is one of the most gifted players at the club so manager Chris Lucketti is glad to have both back for the festive programme.

“It’s a massive boost,” he said. “Daws is still lacking a few minutes game-wise.

“But just to have him available, and his presence, is massive for the rest of the squad.

“Getting Danny Mayor on the pitch on Saturday was important, he’s going to be a big asset. And getting Chris Maguire on as well gives us more attacking options.”

Jermaine Beckford had been more likely to feature at Fratton Park but missed out, and Bury’s top scorer did not play in Tuesday’s game either.

“He was close (on Saturday),” said Lucketti. “He trained really well in the week and we were hoping he was going to be available for selection.

“But he had a niggle on the Friday and it was enough to keep him out of the side.”

Although it was largely a positive display at Portsmouth, defeat left Bury five points from safety in League One.

So, even if they win at eighth-placed Peterborough, the Shakers will still spend Christmas in the drop zone.

But with Bury now playing five games in 15 days, Dawson sees it as an opportunity to climb out of the bottom four.

“The new gaffer’s come in and been really structured in what he wants,” said the combative midfielder.

“A lot of players are starting to come back into the fold too, so we need to kick on now. For too long it’s been nowhere near good enough, from all of us, but hopefully we can really start to move up the league now.”