BURY manager Ryan Lowe has urged his strikers to be more ruthless with Jermaine Beckford set for another injury lay-off.

Last term’s joint-top scorer briefly returned from knee surgery this season but the 34-year-old has suffered another setback.

The Shakers have not said how long they expect him to be out but Beckford’s absence has been tempered by the form of Nicky Maynard, who has five goals from six starts.

Yet neither he or Chris Dagnall, who has two from 12 starts this term, could prevent Bury’s seven-match unbeaten run ending at Port Vale last Saturday.

“I’m not knocking the strikers because they’ve all scored goals,” said Lowe. “We’d love to have Jermaine back 100-per-cent fit but that’s not going to be the case for the near future.

“But I am not just going to look for more strikers, I’ve got probably the best in the league – it was just a lack of quality and decision-making in front of goal on Saturday.

“Being more ruthless is exactly what I’m looking for,” added the Bury boss. “I saw shots with the wrong foot, some taken when it wasn’t ready to shoot, I saw toe-pokes and trying to thread balls through.

“That wasn’t us in the second half, we were trying to do things we’re not good at. When we do the things we are good at we get rewarded. I did say we’re becoming a good team but we’re not there yet, and that was evident on Saturday.”

Maynard, aged 31, and left wing-back Callum McFadzean, who is 24, both had deals until January but last week they were extended until the end of the season.

Maynard’s contract also includes the option of an additional year for the former West Ham and Cardiff striker.

“We recognise that players of Nicky’s calibre are hard to come by so it was important that we secured his services,” said Lowe.

“A lot of credit has to go to the chairman as he backed me on it and got the deal done early.”

Defender Eoghan O’Connell is set to remain out for this Saturday’s trip to rock-bottom Macclesfield, which will be Bury’s first game against the newly-promoted Silkmen since February 2011, when Lowe scored twice in a 4-2 win at the Moss Rose.