Brig slump is not down to players feeling the pressure

Bamber Bridge boss Jamie Milligan insists his team have not been inhibited by the pressure of chasing promotion over the past couple of months.

By Craig Salmon
Friday, 25th February 2022, 8:00 am

Brig have suffered a poor run of form since December – picking up just eights points from a possible 30.

That run is a stark contrast to earlier in the season when they were averaging more than two points per game from their first 20 league fixtures.

After the 3-1 reverse at home to Stafford Rangers a week last Saturday, Brig slipped out of the play-off zone for the first time in a long time.

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Macauley Wilson in action for Brig in their last game against Stafford Rangers (photo:Ruth Hornby)

Indeed at the end of November, they led the way at the top of the NPL Premier Division after a 1-0 victory over Basford United at Irongate.

At that time and the months preceding, Brig were certainly viewed as a surprise package and there was no such pressure on the players as they were not expected to win promotion.

However, having hit the summit, many people began to view the club as genuine promotion challengers and that could have changed the dynamic within the squad.

Milligan does not believe his men are feeling the pressure of a promotion tilt, but reckons that his side perhaps should try to be a little more hard to beat, especially as other teams are more savvy when they come up against them.

“I don’t think it is pressure,” said Milligan, whose team head to Whitby Town this weekend. “This is the first time we have fallen out of the play-off places all season.

“I really don’t think it’s the pressure because we are not going out and playing any different to what we were doing earlier in the season.

“I think the problem is those little moments in games when we have been on top, we have not taken advantage and scored.

“What I have said is that maybe we have to change a little bit in the way we play in the sense that when we do go 1-0 down, we have tended to be a little bit gung-ho.

“We have tended to think that we have had to get back into it straight away. That’s perhaps left us a little bit wide open at the back and we maybe conceded a second goal.”

In the NPL West Division, Clitheroe welcome Kendal Town to Shawbridge.

In the NWCL Premier Division, Charnock Richard head AFC Liverpool and Burscough host Winsford. Longridge entertain Squires Gates. Garstang host Steeton in NWCL First Division North.

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