Brig boss Reynolds finds reasons for optimism

Neil Reynolds Photo: Ruth Hornby
Neil Reynolds Photo: Ruth Hornby

Bamber Bridge go to Squires Gate on Saturday with manager Neil Reynolds taking the positives from their opening pre-season friendlies.

Brig’s preparations for the new season have seen them beaten by Preston North End and Morecambe within the last week.

However, both games have allowed Reynolds to run the rule over his squad in different formations.

Just as pleasing for the manager was that everyone came through the Morecambe game unscathed despite some strong challenges.

“I was really pleased with how we played against Morecambe and you have to give them huge credit for bringing their first team,” Reynolds said.

“We have a good relationship with them and it’s great for our lads and the club.

“There was a desire from both teams to win on Tuesday – you can’t take that out of the lads or both managers but, thankfully, no one got 
injured.”

As well as preparing his side for the new NPL Premier Division campaign, Reynolds is also using the summer to assess where his squad needs fresh blood.

Having been second best for much of the opening half against Morecambe in midweek, a change of formation in the second period brought an improved performance.

The vast majority of the squad is set in stone but Reynolds admitted there were some areas still to be addressed following last season’s promotion.

“I’m probably 95 per cent happy with the squad at the moment,” he said.

“There are 23 in the squad at the minute, which will go down to 20 at some point.

“I’m looking for a different type of central midfielder 
and, if one came along, 
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t 
interested.

“Can I find someone to go box to box? I’ve spoken to Jim (Bentley, Morecambe manager) and Preston North End to see if they have someone.

“Then the final position after that will be a keeper to challenge Lloyd Rigby 
because we’ve only got one keeper.

“It can be difficult to get someone in as a second choice keeper but, apart from that, I’m happy with where we’re at.”

That happiness also extends to the way Brig’s squad has returned ready to play at a higher level.

Reynolds admitted he has faith in their abilities but will not be afraid to make 
changes.

He said: “We have a good group of players and we have to make sure they are physically ready.

“It’s good to see the lads are pushing themselves to play at a higher level this season.

“There’s a bit of pressure on them to prove they are good enough. I’ve said to them that they deserve to go again in the league above but what I won’t accept is under-par performances.”