BURY have secured the services of on-loan Blackburn Rovers defender John Fitzgerald for another month.

The uncompromising centre-back has been a tower of strength since his arrival from Ewood Park in January, however he won't be staying at Gigg to the end of the campaign.

He will rejoin Mark Hughes' Premiership side at the end of April keeping him out of the Shakers' final two games of the campaign, an away clash at Notts County and the final match of the season when promotion-chasing Swansea City are the visitors to Gigg.

Fitzgerald played a big part in Saturday's superb 1-0 victory at league leaders Yeovil Town but is set to miss this Friday's home clash against Grimsby Town as he will be on international duty with the Republic of Ireland's Under-21 squad in Israel.

Boss Graham Barrow was taking in two reserve games on Monday with a view to bringing in two more loan players to bolster a wafer-thin squad that is down to only 14 full professionals - an unprecedented figure that includes Fitzgerald.

With the squad down to the bare bones, another crop of injuries over the final six weeks of the season would be potentially disastrous, it is seen as crucial that he brings in reinforcements ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline and his priorities are a striker and a utility player, possibly left sided.

After picking up seven points from the last nine, optimism is high that the Shakers could end the season on the up.

"With the transfer deadline later this week we definitely need to strengthen as we aren't out of trouble yet," said Barrow.

"We need to be able to put out a team that is worthy of the name of the club and I have one or two ideas up my sleeve.

"There is confidence back in the squad again and we really want to end the season on a positive note.

"The past few months haven't been easy and it would give everyone a lift, players and supporters alike, if we could go on a run to take us up the table.

"We've seen recently what can happen if your squad isn't big enough and you pick up a number of injuries, we don't want a repeat of that."