BRIDPORT boss Jamie Manley admits he wants to avoid the bottom of the table as the Bees get their season started at Cribbs tomorrow (3pm).

Manley leads Bridport into his first full Toolstation Western League Premier Division season having joined just a handful of games into the previous campaign.

Bridport were 19th and battling to resist relegation before the coronavirus pandemic forced the FA to null and void all leagues at Step 3 and below.

Manley is optimistic of an improvement and is also savouring the prospect of competitive football.

He said: “I don’t want to be anywhere near where we were last year, but I think all the other clubs that were down near the bottom will be thinking exactly the same.

“It’s going to be a tough league, even with the players we have brought in. We’ll be more equipped than we were last season – when everyone’s fit.”

Bridport have a number of players out, with star signing Liam Sayers nursing a hamstring issue and Luke King (groin) also struggling.

New signing Chris Hastings is also unavailable, while Andy Holmes (ankle) is a doubt.

On Cribbs, Manley added: “It will be a tough game, they’ve got a new manager (Richard Luffman) and they’re a lot stronger than last year.

“There’s no easy game in the Western Prem and we’re all looking forward to it. Everyone hasn’t played for such a long time they should be raring to go and ready to put a shift in.

“I don’t worry about targets. We’ll look at the first five games, see where we are and go again.

“There’s no point setting targets because you can get slapped in the face pretty hard – you can make yourself look stupid.”