SHAKERS manager Andy Preece is appealing for fans to pull together as a traumatic season enters a crucial stage.

It is six games since the Gigg Lane men last tasted victory and with injuries and suspensions taking their toll on the squad the boss has little room for manouvre.

The parlous financial situation at the club means the Bury boss has no chance of bringing in fresh faces, even on loan, and that's making the job of pulling the club out of trouble almost impossible.

"When we get everyone back I expect us to push on again but as things stand now we are expecting lads who are in their first full season to play game after game and sometimes they need a rest," explained Preece.

"But we can't leave them out of the team because the squad isn't big enough, we have loads of injuries and can't bring anybody in.

"It sometimes feels as though you are banging your head against a brick wall but you can't criticise the young lads because they have given me everything and worked their socks off.

"We all need to pull together. If everyone got behind the team the way the fans behind the goal did on Saturday it would help a great deal.

"A certain section of the crowd were moaning on Saturday and that doesn't help young players.

"I understand how frustrated they must be feeling because I feel the same. We had six first team midfielders missing on Saturday and had to play George Clegg out of position and Lee Connell who has only started a couple of games.

"We need people to forgive a bad pass or shot because when you have a side as young as this they really need all the support they can get.

"I get as frustrated as anyone because it's an impossible job I'm trying to do and I'd love to bring in fresh faces but there's no way I can given the financial situation at the club."

Saturday's results elsewhere kept the Shakers out of the relegation places but Preece was bitterly disappointed not to have picked up at least a point from the Tranmere game.

"I really thought we could have got something out of the match especially in the final half hour when we had a lot of pressure," he said.

"We needed a bit more experience to help the young lads out and I felt I added that when I came on.

"But I am my own worse enemy for getting sent off just as I am getting close to fitness."

Midfielder Martyn Forrest took his first tentative steps to full fitness when he turned out for the reserves in the 0-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Halesowen Town yesterday afternoon.