Bamber Bridge can relax this weekend but will stay professional
Professional pride will ensure that Bamber Bridge will be going all out for the win this weekend against relegation-threatened Mickleover Sports.
Brig welcome the Derbyshire-based outfit to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on the final day of the NPL Premier Division season.
Prior to this week, the match looked like it would be a relegation decider – but Brig’s Easter Monday’s victory at Marine means they are safe.
However, Mickleover are staring down the barrel and anything other than a victory at Irongate will see them drop into the division below. Even then a victory may not be enough as they are reliant on other results going their way.
After a torrid few months which saw Brig drop into the bottom three briefly after a run of nine successive defeats, they can breathe more easily this weekend after enjoying three consecutive league victories.
Despite technically having nothing to play for, joint caretaker boss and stalwart player Matt Lawlor said his men will not be taking the clash against Mickleover lightly.
He is eager to make it four wins on the spin and insists his team have a duty to try their best out of respect for all the teams battling it out at the wrong end of the table.
Lawlor said: “It was looking like this game might be a relegation decider and obviously we are glad that it is not.
“It’s a chance for us to relax and enjoy the final match of the season, but we still want to win.
“Marine and Stafford Rangers could still go down and we need to be professional and have a duty to them to try our best.”
Meanwhile, Lawlor is glad he does not have a relegation on his CV. The 30-year-oldcaptain and central defender – who has played more than 350 games for Brig – was installed as joint manager at the club last month on a temporary basis alongside Joey Collins.
After losing their first two games, the duo managed to turn things around and Lawlor for one is mightily relieved.
He understands only too well the amount of work which went into getting Brig promoted last season and he would have felt embarrassed if his team’s stay in the division had only lasted one season. “There was a lot of relief after the game against Marine,” said Lawlor, who is interested in taking on the role full time.
“To get promoted last season on our budget was a massive achievement so to go down would financially not have been a disaster, but playing-wise would have been.
“We have been disappointed with our season and it would have been embarrassing for me personally – that’s how I would have felt.
“To go up and then come down – nobody wants that on their CV. We want to build on this now for next year.”