Crowe backs Brig to hit the target

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Bamber Bridge FC manager Neil Crowe is hoping his players have got their shooting boots on this season.

Brig’s opening day 3-1 victory over Cammell Laird in Evo Stik League First Division North match showed a huge improvement on last season’s disappointing campaign in front of goal.

Crowe is now hoping this will be a sign of things to come as Brig aim to send out a message to the rest of the league.

He said: “We’ve got Salford and Clitheroe next at home, and I’m certain both sides are on a par with us. They’re going to be tough games.

“I think the league is quite even, and there’s not many easy games.

“But results breed confidence, and with confidence the players will get better and better.

“We want to enjoy ourselves on the pitch and provide entertainment for ourselves and for the fans, and most of all to win games.

“We did that on Saturday and all the lads enjoyed playing in the game.

“We want to start 4-4-2 and stick to it, but you’ve got to be able to adapt in this league. If you have to change things then so be it.

“Ideally we would like to win our first home games and get off to a good start. That will settle us down and hopefully we can then put a run together.”

The squad has taken on a settled look after a close-season recruitment campaign which brought a host of new faces to Irongate, especially in midfield and up front.

With several of the new signings having played for Bamber Bridge before, Crowe is pleased with the early signs.

He said: “Stuart Howson at left-back, Matt Mahoney in the centre of midfield and Ryan Salmon up front were all making their ‘re-debuts’, if you like, against Cammell Laird.

“Since Matt was here last time he’s got two more years’ experience at this level, he’s got stronger and faster and he’s a better player.

“He also gives us a bit more creativity compared to what we had last year.

“Greg Johnstone’s stepped up from the West Lancashire League, and he’s done well too.”

Forward Alex Porter and midfielder Danny Mahoney missed the opening game of the season through injury, and now face a tough job to get into the starting 11.

The manager said: “They’ve got a bit of a battle to get back in now.

“It creates competition at every position on the field, and of course that’s what you want.”

After such a dominant performance against Cammell Laird, Crowe is hoping the fans will show their support at Irongate.

He said: “At the end of the day if we are not playing good football the fans won’t come.

“It’s up to us to get it right on the pitch and then get the fans in.

“If we put a good run together and we can’t attract fans then there’s not much else we can do.

“If we can provide something on the pitch that fans enjoy watching, that’s what we want.”