BRIDPORT boss Adam Fricker is unsurprised by Bitton’s swift rise up the standings ahead of hosting the River Boys at St Mary’s Field in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division on Saturday (3pm).

Bitton have one of the biggest budgets in the division and laid the foundations for this season by recruiting several Southern League players, adding further quality in the current campaign.

The end product is fifth in the league and a chance to move into second, one point off top, with a win against the Bees, who sit 22 points behind in 11th.

But Fricker told the Bridport News his side will be out to take a positive result from the tussle.

He said: “They’ve certainly got the financial muscle in the Western League but I’m not surprised.

“They had to click into gear – you can’t be going out shelling out that sort of money on players and not start getting results. If it was my money questions would start to be asked.

“We’re in for a very, very tough game. Likewise, we beat them (5-0) last season at their place. From that perspective there’s a confidence level that we believe we can get at them.”

He added: “We’ve got to stay positive. Saturday was very disappointing from a performance and results perspective.

“I don’t think we can go all-out attack, especially against a side like Bitton because they’ve got some real quality players in the final third.

“Likewise, we certainly won’t be shutting up shop and trying to nick a 1-0 win. The players we’ve got wouldn’t allow us to do that anyway because that’s not their natural game.”

Bridport are significantly boosted by the return of key players Leighton Thomas and Kameron Andrews, while Luke King is available after suspension.

Andy Martin is a doubt after having five stitches in a shin wound following the 3-0 loss at Shepton Mallet.

Fricker also revealed he is keen to “bolster” his squad in January, finances permitting.