NEW Ayr United boss Lee Bullen hailed his players for a brave defensive display after watching the Honest Men see off league leaders Arbroath in his first match in the Somerset Park hot-seat.

Bullen’s appointment as Ayr’s head coach was revealed on Friday – and little more than 24 hours later he was toasting the perfect start to his reign after James Maxwell’s first-half strike secured full points against Dick Campbell’s men.

Bullen said afterwards: “The players were fantastic and stuck at it.

“We had our backs to the walls a fair bit in the second half, as you would expect playing against the team that is top of the league, but we defended fantastically well.”

Bullen joins the Honest Men from Sheffield Wednesday where he was in charge of the Owls’ under-23 side.

He also had three interim spells in charge of the League One side but this will be his first full time post.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Bullen said:”I think if you are going to be your own man eventually and especially in your first job you have got to have either, one, the opportunity to be successful.

“Or two, it is about a longer term view, working with good people and that is what Ayr have.

“They have a got a relatively new owner in, it looked like a really good project and the chairman has realistic aims for what he wants for his football club.

“So, it was something I could get my teeth in and help to build the football club.”

Another positive for Bullen from Saturday’s win was a debut for academy graduate Fraser Bryden, with Bullen keen to keep bringing through youth at Somerset.

He said: “Bryden has probably got his opportunity a bit earlier than expected because we were down to bare bones striker wise.

“Michael Moffat had done a magnificent job up to 70 minutes, but you could see he was starting to tire, so Bryden came on.

“It was an excellent moment for the club.

“He is one we will keep an eye on over the next few months and hopefully keep getting him involved.”