PORTLAND United have appointed former title-winning manager Gary Bailey as interim boss until the end of the season.

Bailey, who won the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division with the Blues last season, temporarily replaces the sacked Simon Browne as boss.

The islanders have also announced that Stuart Heath and Chris Wilson will form part of Bailey’s backroom staff.

Portland’s move comes less than 24 hours after relieving previous boss Browne of his duties at Grove Corner in the wake of a 4-3 loss to Horndean on Saturday.

A short statement given by long-serving Blues’ chairman Robin Satherley, reads: “Portland United Football Club have appointed Gary Bailey as interim first-team manager and will be bringing in Stuart Heath and Chris Wilson as part of his backroom staff.”

Bailey will be tasked with a reversal of form that has conjured just four home wins this season, with the Blues placed 12th and 37 points off the pace in defence of their title.

His first game in temporary charge is a tricky home clash against Blackfield & Langley on Saturday (3pm).

Heath comes into the fray after leaving Dorchester Town earlier this season having been a part of former boss Craig Laird’s backroom staff. Both Heath and Wilson are ex-Blues managers.