Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds has said a big ‘thank-you’ to the 1,739 crowd who turned up for the annual pre-season friendly against Preston North End.
The bumper attendance at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium came despite the early kick-off, which allowed fans to watch England’s World Cup victory over Sweden.
Reynolds said: “To have that size of crowd in was just brilliant. I didn’t think we’d get that many in because of England if I’m being honest, I thought we might suffer.
“So I’d like to say thank-you to everyone who came and I hope they enjoyed it.
“The PNE game provides a big chunk of our budget and it gets us going after the close season.
“It is massive for us and a foundation.
“If we need to spend at this stage of pre-season, we’ve got this money coming in and then we can start bringing in more revenue once the season starts.”
Brig were beaten 7-0 by North End, the visitors five up by half-time.
However, Reynolds was far from disheartened by his side’s performance.
Reynolds said: “When you think about it, Preston finished seventh last season in the Championship, so were in the top 27 clubs in the country.
“So we were always going to be up against it on Saturday.
“Yes, some of the goals we conceded were avoidable, but that is something we can work on over the coming weeks.
“It was a game against a very good professional club and Alex Neil took things very seriously.
“He sent his full squad and they were very impressive.
“Before the game I had a chat with Alex and he was very complimentary about the pitch and how we look after them.
“At the end of the chat it was a case of ‘see you next year’ which was good to hear.
“We conceded five goals in the first half, so the second half was damage limitation to some extent – we sat deeper as we didn’t want to be beaten 10-0 or 11-0.
“Our lads kept going, they kept working.”
Brig are next in action on Tuesday night (7.30pm) against Morecambe, before they go to Squires Gate on Saturday afternoon.
Reynolds said: “Preston will probably be our toughest game of pre-season when you bear in mind which division they play in.
“We will get better as a team as pre-season goes on and we get people back.
“Against Preston we had five missing because they were on holiday.
“Once they are back, I’m happy with what we have got here.
“At the moment I’m not looking to bring anyone else in, although if the right player comes up I would do.
“I think we are equipped to be competitive in the league we are going into.
“Are we ready to win the league? Probably not. Are we ready for the play-offs? Again, probably not.
“But we will be aiming to push as high as we can.”