Milli confident of going to the Wire

Jamie Milligan
Jamie Milligan

Bamber Bridge playmaker Jamie Milligan believes he and his team-mates have nothing to fear this weekend.

The Irongate men travel to the Cantilever Stadium on Saturday to take on NPL First Division North high-flyers Warrington Town.

The Wire have begun the season in fine form and find themselves in third position in the table – level on points with leaders Northwich Victoria.

After enjoying a great run to the second round proper of the FA Cup last season – beating League Two outfit Exeter City along the way – Shaun Reid’s men appear to have prioritised promotion to the Premier Division this term.

They have picked up 11 wins and suffered just two defeats from their opening 16 league games. Brig, on the other hand, have endured a frustrating start in the league, winning just five of their opening 12 league games and find themselves in 11th spot.

To a lesser extent, they have suffered a similar fate to Warrington last season, with a good run in the FA Cup hindering their progress in the league.

But after bowing out of the FA Cup to National League North outfit Brackley Town away from home at the final qualifying stage, Neil Crowe’s men can now fully concentrate on the league.

They will draw confidence from the opening day of the season, when they drew 2-2 with Warrington at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

On that occasion, Brig looked destined to collect all three points as they built up a two-goal cushion.

However, a crazy final few minutes allowed Town back into the match and the points were shared.

Former Everton, Blackpool and Fleetwood Town midfielder Milligan said: “Warrington are flying high at the top of the table at the minute. But I think if we can win our games in hand, we can stay in touch with them

“We played them at the beginning of the season and I don’t think we have anything to fear really.

“We went 2-0 up, but we were probably a bit naive in that game and let them get back into it in the final 10 minutes. But I don’t think we have anything to worry about going there.

“I think if we can play to our capabilities, we have got a good chance of getting a result.”

Despite finding themselves 16 points behind the early-season pacesetters, Milligan is confident Brig – who defeated Ossett Albion 2-0 last weekend – can haul themselves up the table over the remainder of 
the season.

He admits there is a certain amount of pressure on the players with Brig desperate to finally seal promotion after losing agonisingly in the play-off final over the previous two campaigns.

With himself and Brett Ormerod added to the squad over the summer to complement players such as PNE legend Paul McKenna and wing ace Ally Waddecar, there is a big expectation level at the club.

“There have been a few new players signed over the summer and it can be tough to get going because everybody’s still getting to know each other,” Milligan said

“It’s been a bit up and down so far, but I think we have the players capable of going on a good run.”

Meanwhile, new signings George Bowyer, Andy Dodd and Nicky Platt are expected to feature tomorrow after impressing against Ossett.

Waddecar is still out injured with knee ligament damage.