Preston friendly is one to savour for Bamber Bridge

Jamie Milligan believes his Bamber Bridge team will embrace the challenge of facing illustrious neighbours Preston tomorrow.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:30 pm

North End head to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium this weekend for the annual pre-season fixture between the two clubs.

It’s certainly one of the showpiece events of the calendar for Brig and tomorrow’s fixture also sees fans return to the ground – albeit under strict conditions in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Milligan accepts his part-timers face a daunting task coming up against the Championship outfit but he expects them to relish the opportunity of pitting their wits against PNE’s high class squad.

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Preston defender Patrick Bauer heads the ball clear with Bamber Bridge's Alistair Waddecar in close attendance during the time the two clubs met

“I think they will love the chance to take North End on,” said the Brig boss.

“I wish I was still playing and if I was then I would be looking forward to it.

“It’s the chance to play against better players and test ourselves.

“We’ve got some good pre-season games coming up.

“Hopefully, we will have Blackpool to play and we’ve got games against AFC Fyle and Chorley also. I wanted our pre-season games to be difficult and a real test for the players.

“I don’t want games where we are just going to go and win four or five-nil because I don’t think you get anything out of it.

“We are going to be coming up against a quality side in Preston this weekend and I said to the lads don’t expect to have too much of the ball.

“They move the ball around well – I watched quite a lot of their games last season and they are a very good side.

“It’s a fitness thing for us more than anything.

“I am not concerned about what the the result is, it’s about getting more minutes in players’ legs and we will certainly have to work hard against Preston.”

Milligan admits it will be great to see fans come through the turnstiles once again and create an atmosphere at Irongate.

“It’s going to be great to see fans back inside the ground again,” he added. “It’s a sellout and should be a good atmosphere with the two clubs being local to each other.

“It’s not about the result – it’s about getting the fans through the door and making it an occasion for them.”

In terms of the Brig squad, Milligan has lost the services of talismanic figures Alistair Waddecar, who has joined FC United of Manchester, and former skipper Matt Lawlor, who has retired from playing due to work and family commitments.

He is also without the influential Danny Wisdom, who has moved to London because of work.

However, he has bolstered his squad with the acquisitions of defender Cameron Gourley and striker Jamie Thomas and both are expected to play this weekend.

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