Bamber Bridge boss Neil Reynolds has urged his men to play with a smile on their face when they host derby rivals Clitheroe this evening.
Brig have seen their faint NPL First Division North automatic promotion hopes disappear after suffering two defeats in a week. A disastrous 5-0 loss at Tadcaster Albion was followed by last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Kendal Town.
The men from Irongate have now slipped 12 points off second-placed Hyde United, but they are almost certainly guranteed a spot in the play-offs.
And Reynolds has urged his men to use the final few games to recover their confidence and get back that winning feeling.
“I have told the lads to get a smile on their faces for when we play Clitheroe and get back to playing the way that we can do,” said Reynolds, whose side face Colne at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday.
“Automatic promotion has 100% gone, but like I said to the lads after the game on Saturday – Kendal might have beaten us, but they have nothing to play for. They can’t go up and they won’t go down where as we have lots to play for this season.
“I take full responsibility because I have put the pressure on the lads, but really there is no pressure on Bamber Bridge.
“We have massively overachieved in terms of who we are playing against this season.
“Somebody said that we have only won two in 11, but I say we have lost three in 20.
“I am always the optimist – we have only lost five games all season.”
Macauley Wilson serves the second of a three-match suspension tonight while Danny Forbes is a doubt with a back injury. Phil Doughty and Matt Mahoney may be recalled.