Renno getting set for crucial month

Curtis Thompson

Curtis Thompson

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The next few weeks will indicate whether Bamber Bridge are serious about winning promotion this season.

That is the view of assistant manager Neil Reynolds as his players face up to a tough-looking set of fixtures in the NPL First Division North over the forthcoming month.

After a tricky away test at Brighouse Town tomorrow, Brig then host second-placed Northwich Victoria at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium the following Saturday.

They also face away trips to big-spending Darlington 1883, who are currently third, and play-off rivals AFC Farsley during February.

After losing three games on the trot, Brig got their league campaign back on track with a 3-1 victory over bottom side Padiham last weekend.

They find themselves in ninth spot in the table but only four points outside the play-offs with several games in hand.

“It’s going to be challenging, but I’m quite excited about what’s coming up,” Reynolds told the Evening Post.

“I can’t wait to go to Darlington and Farsley and play Northwich at home.

“I can’t wait for these games – pitting ourselves against the best in the league.

“It will tell us where we are. If we do well in these games, then we will be in the play-offs.

“If we don’t, then we will have to re-evaluate our season.

“But we have full confidence in the squad. The lads are absolutely brilliant.

“They have got great believe and we’ll keep chipping away.

“Hopefully that will be good enough to see us end up in the play-offs.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Brighouse are near the bottom of the table but they have collected seven wins on their home patch and defeated leaders Salford City 3-1 at Hove Edge in their last match.

“It will be a tough game against Brighouse,” Reynolds said.

“They had a great win against Salford in their last game at home and we know they have got some quality players in their team. They probably have not had the rub of the green.

“But it’s a big, flat pitch at their place which will suit our wide men and our runners from midfield.”

Brig are likely to include Curtis Thompson in their line-up once again for tomorrow’s encounter.

The midfielder, who returned to the club last week after a spell at Premier Division outfit Skelmersdale United, started in the win over Padiham on Saturday before being withdrawn 25 minutes into the second half.

“Curtis was a massive part of our success last season,” Reynolds added.

“He’s not played much football at Skem, but he got through 70 minutes of the game against Padiham on Saturday. He’s going to be a massive asset to us for the rest of the season.”

Reynolds was also impressed with the display of defender Michael Muscat, who has joined on loan from Fleetwood Town’s academy, while the squad is also strengthened by the return of striker Darren Green .

“Mike Muscat looks a real prospect,” Reynolds said.

“We’ve also got Darren Green back, which is a massive boost.”

One negative is the continued absence of Matt Mahoney, who looks like he will be out of action for a number of weeks with a hernia.

Seventeen-year-old youngster Regan Linney is also missing as he is away in the USA on a scholarship programme.