NELSON are set to appoint a new manager after tonight’s Lancashire Challenge Trophy opener with holders Chorley.

The Admirals have been without a manager since Mark Fell stepped down last month but chief executive Adam Keizer confirmed that the interview process was nearing completion and that the club expected to confirm the identity of their new boss after the clash with the Magpies.

He said: “We will be announcing our new manager after the Chorley game.

“Myself and the chairman have been very impressed with the standard of candidates we have had and we are looking forward to getting a new manager in place and moving forward.

“Hopefully the new manager will be in place in time to lead a training session on Thursday ahead of our league game on Saturday.”

The North West Counties League Premier Division side face a tough test to progress to the last eight of the county competition with Matt Jansen’s men plying their trade three levels above in the National League North.

But Keizer is hopeful that Nelson’s young guns can spring a surprise in a competition they last won in 1955.

“All the players have reacted well since Mark Fell stepped down,” he added. “The average age of the side is 21 and we were unlucky against AFC Liverpool on Saturday when we conceded a 94th-minute winner.

“Chorley is a big game for us and it will be a tough game whatever side they bring.

“But it is a great chance for our young lads to test themselves. They all play without fear and it is great if we can win our cup games. It can only help build momentum.

“Hopefully we will have a good crowd and maybe spring a surprise.”

For Magpies boss Matt Jansen it is about avoiding a cup shock, just 10 days after they suffered an FA Cup upset at the hands of Northwich Victoria in the fourth qualifying round.

But Chorley bounced back from that defeat with a 1-0 win over Brackley in the league on Saturday and Jansen is determined to retain the trophy come the end of the season.

“I want to win it,” said Jansen who is expected to rotate his squad with Josh Hine (shoulder) and Andy Teague (knee) both injury doubts.

“There will be quite a few changes. It is an opportunity for players to stake a claim that they should be playing.”

Second round fixtures, Tues, November 10: Atherton Laburnum Rovers v Padiham, Bamber Bridge v Daisy Hill, Lancaster City v AFC Darwen, West Didsbury and Chorlton v Atherton Collieries, Colne v Holker Old Boys, AFC Fylde v Ashton Athletic. Weds, November 11: Bacup Borough v Clitheroe.