NEW Bridport boss Jamie Manley admitted he jumped at the chance to manage the Bees, adding he is “well up for the fight” to improve the St Mary’s Field outfit.

Manley has been out of a footballing job since his departure from Chard last season and takes over from Rich Robson following his resignation last week.

Since joining, Manley has appointed Kevin Leigh as his assistant, with Gary McAuley linking up as player-coach.

Speaking to Echosport prior to overseeing a stunning 4-0 win over Chipping Sodbury Town in his maiden game in charge, Manley revealed he is relishing the task in front of him.

He said: “I didn’t know what was going on. Adrian (Scadding, chairman) then gave me a call to see if I was interested.

“Being out of football there’s not too many jobs that come around. I had a quick chat with Kev and we’re well up for the job. We’re both looking forward to it.”

Manley also praised the job Robson and his number two Ryan Dovell had done since losing most of the Bridport squad in the wake of ex-boss Adam Fricker’s exit.

“They did lose a lot of players over the summer,” Manley said. “Rich worked hard, so has Ryan, to bring players in. I suppose it’s a results business in the end.

“The results haven’t been what they thought they were going to be and that’s why the decision’s been made for them to go.

“We’re going to look at the whole structure of the club, what needs strengthening.

“I believe the first team and the reserves have been training separately – the reserves on a Tuesday and first team on a Thursday.

“We’re going to be looking to change that straight away and get all the lads training together to have a good look at the squad.

“You can see Bridport attacking-wise have scored a lot of goals, but they seem to leak quite a few. That needs addressing but these things are going to take time – it won’t be an overnight turnaround.

“We’re well up for the fight to sort it out and that’s what we’ll do. We’ll give it our all and will be working tirelessly to get it right.”

Meanwhile, Dovell, who did not feature at Chipping Sodbury is set to have talks with Manley on his future as a Bridport player.

“We’re going to have a chat at training,” Manley explained. “I want to keep him at the club on the playing side, he’s got a lot to offer.

“A lot of people at the club have got a lot of time for Ryan, so I really hope he sticks around and wants to be a part of what we’re trying to do.

“I know it won’t be easy for him coming from assistant to being just a player, but I hope he’s willing to give it a go.

“Someone with his experience, I’ll still probably look to chat with him and see what his views are. I’d never burn bridges with anyone.

“Bridport need more experience in the side so to lose someone like that would be a blow.”