Bamber Bridge skipper Matt Lawlor focused on playing rather than managing

Lawlor (right) with Joey Collins
Lawlor (right) with Joey Collins

Bamber Bridge captain Matt Lawlor has distanced himself from speculation linking him with taking over from Joey Collins as the club’s new manager.

Brig revealed this week that Collins had stepped down by mutual consent and that news of his replacement would be announced in due course.

Lawlor was Collins’ assistant this season after the pair had jointly guided the club to safety last season after the serious threat of relegation.

The skipper was unable to continue in the joint role this term – instead offering his services in a suporting capacity to Collins, who took sole control in the summer.

Up to now, it has been a tough campaign for Brig and they currently sit just four points above the drop zone in the NPL Premier Division, having played a number of games more than their rivals.

Just who will be in the dugout at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium for this weekend’s league clash against Micklover Sports is, as the Post went to press, unknown.

Talks are believed to be ongoing, but Lawlor revealed he has not been party to any conversations.

Indeed, the former AFC Fylde defender is focused on his role as a player and doing his bit to help the team out of the predicament they currently find themselves in.

“I don’t think I will be in charge at the weekend,” said Lawlor.

“We don’t really know what’s happening – things are going on in the background with the relevant parties.

“Joey left because he had some big family matters to take care of which are far more important than football.”

While the identity of the new manager is unknown, Lawlor insisted he and his team-mates have a duty to start producing results.

On Saturday, they went down to a crushing 4-1 defeat at Atherton Collieries – their ninth away league defeat of the season.

They did redeem themselves slightly on Tuesday when they defeated Wythenshawe Amateurs 5-1 to move through to the semi-finals of the LFA Challenge Trophy.

“To go out and get beaten 4-1 at Atherton Collieries was gutting,” said Lawlor.

“It’s consistency. We can’t put the same performance together at the minute.

“We hope to address it as a team and as players, starting on Saturday.

“Hopefully we can carry on what happened on Tuesday, albeit against lower opposition, but you can only beat what’s in front of you.”

Mickleover are currently in mid-table and Lawlor added: “They have a few ex-pros in their squad and they always get exciting young talent from the league clubs around their area such as Derby, Stoke and Nottingham Forest.”

l In the National League, AFC Fylde travel to Barnet and in the NL North, Southport host Gloucester City.