Mike West urges Herne Bay fans to stick with the team.

West is in temporary charge after Ben Smith quit as Bay boss less than six months after leading them to promotion in the play-offs.

Injured midfielder Mike West has temporarily taken charge of Herne Bay following the departure of Ben Smith. Photo: Ian Scammell

Penultimate Bay were beaten 3-2 in the Isthmian Premier at home to Carshalton on Tuesday.

But after leading 3-0 at half-time at Winch’s Field in front of a crowd of 340, an encouraging second-half display saw Kieron Campbell and Rory Smith score to set up an interesting finish.

“Hold on because I know it’s tough,” West said, when asked if he had a message for the club’s supporters.

“It’s hard for me to watch, so I know what it’s like for them. All I ask of them is to keep singing – like they always do – and support us as much as they can. can.

” We are doing our best. I slept on Monday for about four hours because my phone rang at 11:30 p.m. – which my wife was fuming about! She loves her restful sleep.

“But hang with us because we try and do our best with what we have.”

West said the few days had been difficult personally after helping Bay get promoted on loan from Ebbsfleet last season before making the move a permanent move this summer.

He said: “It’s difficult for me because I get along very well with Smithy.

“Smithy and Stu Fitchie, the chairman, were the main reason I came here because I had quite a few options to go elsewhere. Those were the main reasons I signed here this year, so, on that side, it is difficult.

“I can’t believe how busy my phone has been for the past two days! I’ve never had to charge my phone twice a day in my entire life.

“It’s frustrating so hopefully we can find a manager by next week.”

It was a first taste of management for West, 31, but it’s not yet something he wants to do long-term.

West, who was due to find out the extent of a possible hernia on Wednesday, said: “I hated it! I’m nowhere near ready to be a manager because I feel like I have at least five or six years left. on front of me.

Although Herne Bay is stuck in the relegation zone, West believes there is a big opportunity for whoever the new boss is. with new 3G pitch this summer having been laid at Winch’s Field.

“We’re not that far off and we’re nowhere near the bottom four,” he insisted. “But it’s just about these nice margins.

“Unfortunately where a mid-table team gets a point in this game, unfortunately we don’t get the green snag. But we have the ability, there’s talent there.

“In the second half we limited Carshalton to one chance and they are a decent side. Steve McKimm is a great manager.

“They’re a tough team to play against, so for us to score two against them, I think they have a great defensive record anyway, so that’s good.

“But not getting a point is so frustrating.”

The bay hosts Canvey Island this Saturday ahead of a Kent Senior Cup clash at Ramsgate on Tuesday. In total, nine of their next 12 matches will be at home.

West said: “This season was always going to be tough and we had to be big on recruiting. We are in the position we are in, there is not much we can do at the moment, all we can do is change that in the future and hopefully the results will improve for us.

“I hope being at home will make a difference. I think, no pre-season here, not being in front of our fans, it all adds up. I’m not the one looking for excuses.

“The first half it was pretty quiet in the stadium but, the second half, it felt like a different place. I think being at home – if the fans keep coming and we enjoy them really – hopefully in the future it will pick up again.

Midfielder Charlie Weston, returning centre-back Luke Ilsley and left-back Kacper Gruszczynski entered the Herne Bay squad against Carshalton.