Bamber Bridge must make their superiority count says manager Joey Collins

Brig boss Joey Collins
Brig boss Joey Collins

Bamber Bridge must become more streetwise if they are to make a success of their second season in the NPL Premier Division.

That is the view of manager Joey Collins as he looks to navigate the club away from the lower reaches of the table.

For the majority of the first half against high-flying Basford United at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday, Brig were the better team.

They took the lead through new loan signing Michael Fowler and bossed proceedings. Unfortunately, influential midfielder Danny Wisdom was forced off the pitch with a groin injury just before half-time and that caused disruption.

Despite that, Brig still had a golden opportunity to open up a two-goal cushion, but they failed to take advantage and Basford’s undoubted quality eventually told in the second half.

“In the first half we did really, really well,” said Collins.

“We competed and managed to take the lead through Michael Fowler on his debut.

“We controlled the game up to the 35th minute mark.

“Then Danny Wisdom got a knock and had to come off.

“To be fair to Basford, in the second half they changed their structure and shape and we sat too deep and let them come back into it.

“We had a great opportunity to go 2-0 up but we went for a shot when a square pass would have left an open goal for Fowler to score his second and that would changed the complexion fo the game.

“We have got to be better and learn not to switch off at key moments.”

Despite his obvious frustrations, Collins was pleased with the way Fowler performed in his first game for the club.

Signed the day before from Fleetwood Town, the 18-year-old certainly acquitted himself well.

“He did really well,” he said. “He’s learning his trade at Fleetwood and he’s certainly got something about him.

“He’s a big, strong, powerful lad who likes to mix it up. I was really pleased with him.”

Fowler is expected to figure this weekend when Brig travel to Grantham Town, who are in 11th spot in the table having been beaten only once all season.

“They are a big powerful unit and go back to front very quickly and rightly so because they have got the players to do that,” Collins said. “They have got a lot of good players like Craig Westcarr who scored a hat-trick against Lancaster last week and caused them problems.

“We have got to be aware of that.”

Collins, who is trying to sign a midfielder and a full-back, revealed Wisdom will miss this weekend’s fixture, but he is hopeful of having Joe Booth back.

“Danny was out for a long period of time, for a season,” Collins said. “He’s picked up a little groin problem but we are hopeful he should be back for the FC United game.”