NELSON boss Paul Paynter admits life in the North West Counties League is tougher than he imagined – but is loving every minute at Victoria Park.

Paynter was appointed as boss of the reformed Admirals when they were taken over by Fishwick Rangers and re-introduced into the Pyramid.

And with his wealth of experience as a player at that level, he believed his men could make a challenge towards the top.

In reality Nelson have had to fight for every point and are second from bottom of the table with five wins to their name but the signs are there that they are heading in the right direction.

“When I took the Nelson job in the summer I thought we could do well and move on up the table and do well towards the top end,” said Paynter. “I spoke to people in football about the job and they were telling me that if we finished outside of the bottom three we would have done really well.

“I thought, yeah, right. Then after 10 games the reality set in and I thought ‘blimey they were right’. But we are improving all the time and developing.”

The Admirals have been short of matches recently and have had their last 12 games postponed.

They hope to return to action on Saturday when Abbey Hey are scheduled to visit Victoria Park and Paynter is relishing that.

“It’s a challenge at this level of football and I enjoy the challenge, that’s why we do it,” he said.

“We all think we are the best manager in the world but when you are there dealing with 16 or 20 lads and trying to get a team out you can have real issues.

“You have to be friends with the lads, you have to find out what makes them tick and what gets at them.

“Man management is the key.”