BRIDPORT supremo Trevor Senior is hoping the reintroduction of some key players can lift his side in the second half of the season after a difficult last few months of 2012.
The Bees boss has admitted he thought the team, two off the foot of the Toolstation Western Premier Division table, would have been starting the new year in a better position.
But despite bringing the likes of Sam and Max Buckler and Ryan Dovell to St Mary’s Field this season, Senior has had to deal with a number of long-term injuries and players, including his son, making themselves unavailable.
“I was pleased to get Sam and Max and they have certainly helped us since joining from Dorchester,” said Senior. “Max took a while to get going but Sam has been a revelation.
“Ryan came back to us from Dor-chester and has had a massive season for us up front with 10 goals scored already.
“Jamie Filkins came in and had to be patient on the bench but he has adapted very well and he’s been a big plus for us.
“Compared to last season we’ve missed quite a few players. Tom Richardson had a nasty illness, Dar-ren Lock is training for the Marines, Chris Senior and Alan Hill have moved to Australia and Chris Clarke has missed some of the season.
“Brothers Joe and Sam Charles both suffered cruciate knee ligament damage so we’ve got quite a few players due to come back, which could make a big difference.”
The Bees did make a promising start to the campaign with two wins and a draw in their first three games but since then they have nose-dived down the division with one victory in the last 13.
It’s been a tricky time for the club, and Senior, who has had his playing budget cut, and the Bridport chief knows that survival is the sole target for the rest of the season.
“After last season I thought we would be around about where we are now,” he added. “I did think we might struggle.
“We had a bad start in pre-season with the wet weather flooding the clubhouse and we didn’t get the friendlies we wanted.
“But we got off to a far better start than I thought we would. We beat Barnstaple and Wells and drew with Bishop Sutton.
“We got to 16 points pretty quickly but we seemed to stick there for a long time and dropped down the league.
“The first half of the season has been okay but if I’m honest I thought we’d be a little bit higher up the table than we are.
“Two go down and we’ve got to make sure we pick up points against the teams around us to keep above the relegation zone.”