Bamber Bridge manager Jamie Milligan looking upwards ahead of trip to Scarborough

Matt Dudley, right, is congratulated by Richie Allen after opening the scoring last Saturday (photo: Ruth Hornby)
Matt Dudley, right, is congratulated by Richie Allen after opening the scoring last Saturday (photo: Ruth Hornby)

Bamber Bridge manager Jamie Milligan believes he is on the cusp of completing objective No.1 – and now he is eyeing up the possibility of fulfilling objective No.2.

When the former Everton and Blackpool midfielder took over at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, his immediate concern was to guide the club away from the NPL Premeir Division relegation zone.

After the 2-1 home victory over second-bottom Grantham Town last Saturday – courtesy of two goals from Matt Dudley –Brig have now moved 12 points clear of danger.

And Milligan believes barring ‘a mad run’ towards the end of the season, his side can start to breathe a little easier.

But he is keen that his men do not rest on their laurels as he believes a late play-off push is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Indeed a quick glance at the league table shows that Brig are nearer to the play-offs than they are to relegation.

In fact, Milligan is now 
ruing the 3-2 defeat at the hands of Nantwich – who are currently in fifth spot – as he felt his men could have been on the right side of the result.

As things stand now they are 10 points off fifth place and know a win at seventh-placed Scarborough Athletic this weekend will put them just a point behind them in the table.

“Looking at it now, the Nantwich game is a real sickener,” said Milligan.

“We could have won that game late on, but we ended up losing late on. If we had won that, the table would look completely different now.

“But to be fair when we came in our focus was to make sure we were out of the way of that bottom three.

“Touch wood and barring a mad run, we are clear of that now.

“Saturday is a massive game for us because we could be one point behind Scarborough and up to eighth if other results go our way.”

On the injury front, captain and central defensive lynchpin Matt Lawlor is still out with a knee problem, whilst Alistair Waddecar made his return via the substitutes’ bench last weekend as he continues to nurse a hernia.

Milligan revealed Waddecar will be monitored, although he will eventually require surgery.

Striker Sheldon Green – on loan from AFC Fylde – will return to the squad after missing last weekend’s game.