DIRECTOR of cricket Steve Rhodes believes his Worcestershire players will flourish at the top level, despite relegation from LV= County Championship Division One.

A miserable season for the County ended with an innings and 148-run defeat inside three days at Somerset, leaving them bottom of the table.

But Rhodes has faith in the team and says an element of perspective is needed following two years in the English top-flight.

He said: “We have got a young squad that is developing abd who we’ve brought through our academy system. We do believe they will be good cricketers but it takes time for them to find their feet in a tough environment.

“Somerset were missing the likes of Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter but they had seasoned campaigners.

“It’s been a tough time, but if you look back to 2010 people were amazed when we got promoted and they were even more surprised when we stayed up in 2011.

“In 2012 we are disappointed and questioning things but we have punched well above our weight for two years. If it means a bit of time in Division Two, hopefully just one season, to develop these youngsters for Division One then that’s a good thing.”

Worcestershire, who will be joined in Division Two next year by Lancashire, demoted 12 months after winning the title, had no answer to the spin of Abdur Rehman at Taunton.

The Pakistan international claimed figures of 14-101, nine wickets in the visitors’ first innings total of 212 and five in dismissing them for 152 the second time around.

In between, Somerset wracked up 512-9 declared with centuries from Marcus Trescothick (146) and Nick Compton (155).

Rhodes said: “Nobody likes losing but I think the game was played on a wicket that turned. It had a lot of bare patches and when you are playing against an international player like Abdur Rehman, it’s going to be very difficult for a young squad.”