BRIDPORT caretaker manager Shaun Annetts praised the Bees for sticking to their policy of fielding young, local players but admitted the squad has come up “well short” this season.

Annetts has agreed to take the reins at St Mary’s Field until the end of a troubled Toolstation Western League Premier Division season, or until a permanent boss can be found.

It comes after the mutual exit of Rob Marquis before Christmas.

Bridport are understood to be holding interviews with candidates as the Bees look to appoint their new boss.

Any prospective new manager will have to improve on a woeful league record, the Bees having lost 24 of 25 games this campaign to sit bottom of the table.

READ MORE: Shaun Annetts opens up on 'toughest' year at Bees

Under ex-boss John Godbold, the Bees chose to develop young talent and give them a chance to shine – although that decision has backfired in one of the strongest Western League Premier line-ups for years.

Annetts told the Bridport News: “The majority of the players that have been involved this year in the first team can all play at this level.

“However, they can play but not all together. They can play in ones, twos and threes in amongst players that know this level and can play at this level.

“Unfortunately there’s too many of the players that are lacking and that’s where we’ve fallen well short.

“It’s the only reason I have never offered to take on the first-team job before and it’s the reason I wouldn’t take it on back in the summer.

“Rob asked me if I would help him and I agreed to. It was always going to be difficult.

“The direction the club chose to go in – give young Bridport players a chance – has definitely happened.

“Every single Bridport player has been given the opportunity to play in our first team this year.

“Those players have found it difficult and too many of them have not been able to gel together and produce the quality that’s needed, because it’s a decent standard.

“There are some good teams in the Premier this year.”