Bamber Bridge looking to move further away from ‘horrible’ drop zone

Brig boss Joey Collins
Brig boss Joey Collins

Bamber Bridge manager Joey Collins says that the relegation zone is a ‘horrible place to be'.

Brig had been consigned to the foot of the Northern Premier League until their win against Stafford Rangers last weekend.

Spending their time in the drop zone affected the atmosphere at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium but getting more out of the players was key for Collins.

He said: “It’s a horrible place to be, even if it’s only temporary, it’s not nice.

“You’re looking up all the time, the atmosphere around the changing rooms, you feel the pressure.

“We were there late last year and in that zone for quite a while. We stressed the importance of getting out of there as quickly as possible and not having that on your hands.

“It does weigh you down. They’re a tight group of lads at Brig, they always have been. That’s what I love about it. Everyone has each other’s back. We just needed to do more.

“I’ll be honest, we have had long chats about how we’re going to get ourselves out of there, why we’re actually in there, what we’re not doing, what we need to do more.

“The lads are hopefully going to take ownership of that.

“It’s great having a lovely pitch or playing surface but if you’re not going out putting everything into it, it makes things difficult.

“No side is going to come down in this league and make it easy for you.

“The lads know the importance of that togetherness and the ownership that they need to take on their performances to get themselves out of there.”

Stalybridge Celtic will be a familiar foe when they arrive at the weekend, having beaten Brig 3-2 just under a month ago.

Celtic coming from 2-1 down in the second half in part thanks to brute force.

That good initial showing is enough to motivate Collins, and he fancies his side to come away with everything on Saturday.

“Having only recently played them, we know they’re a very organised, physical outfit,” he said.

“We were restricted when we were 2-1 up at half time and they sort of over-powered us a bit, certainly down the sides.

“We’re expecting a very tough encounter again. I’m hoping to have some of the lads back in, a bit more experience. I’ll be hoping to take some points out of it to be honest.”