BRIDPORT boss Rich Robson is eagerly awaiting the “real test” posed by Portland United as the two sides face each other in pre-season friendly action at St Mary’s Field tonight (7.45pm).

Robson’s men lost 1-0 to Sherborne in their opening summer friendly, while Brendon King’s Portland were defeated 4-0 by Weymouth last weekend.

New-look Bridport are set to welcome back several of their new signings after the Bees’ squad for the Zebras defeat comprised of just seven players not to be listed as triallists.

Speaking to Echosport, Robson revealed he is relishing the task against the “well-established” Blues.

He said: “If you look at Portland, they’re more the level we’ll be playing against this season.

“They’ve got a really well-established side so this is going to be a real test against quality.

“We’ll work on what we’ve put into training, try and put that into practice in terms of style of play, decisions we make and the philosophy we’re trying to install.

“We’ll have a lot of our lads back in so it’s going to gauge how far away they are from being where we want them to be in terms of competitive sharpness.

“It’s probably going to be one of our better tests this pre-season, because there is no better test than playing a settled side.

“Their chemistry’s going to be on point. We’ve got to work hard to build up our own.”

Meanwhile, King confessed Portland will be assessing match fitness and looking at formations during the encounter.

He said: “We’ll probably try a couple of formations and see what’s the best fit for the players we’ve got and try and get the best out of them.

“We’ll probably change the formation again on Saturday (against Willand). That’s what these games are about, so we can get things ready in preparation for August 3.

Bridport have a fully-fit squad and are set to welcome in two triallists for the fixture, whereas Portland, who have no injury concerns, are expected to field a different team in each half.