BLUES boss Mark Fell insists that he’ll need to add experienced heads to his young squad in a bid to get Nelson back to the Premier Division.
Despite formulating a significant change in the club’s fortunes since taking over, the Victoria Park chief admitted that his side is by no means the finished article.
The club was languishing in 16th spot when Fell and assistant Tim Breaker began their tenure in November, but after a myriad of changes in personnel the Blues have climbed to ninth in the second tier of the North West Counties hierarchy.
With an average age of 20 the Blues are expectedly showing some naivety in their performances - shipping 15 goals in their last five outings as a result - but Fell believes a top half finish would provide the perfect foundation to build towards next term.
“If we can culminate the season in seventh or eighth then that would be a good indication of the club’s progression,” declared Fell.
“Nelson were 16th when we took over and hadn’t won in a while.
“We’ve stabilised the club and got a squad together that is as good as any in this league.
“We are young and craving some experienced heads which is the challenge for me.
“It would be a great achievement to finish in the top half.
“We’ve managed to turn a brand new team around in a short space of time.
“At the moment we’re open and it’s not how we want to be.
“It’s a case of who can score the most goals.
“I want my side to be robust and hard to break down.
“We’ve got that attacking flair in abundance so we will always score goals, we just need to find that balance.
“It’s great viewing for the supporters but it’s not good for my heart. The average age against Rochdale was just over 20.
“Our eldest player was 24 and our youngest was just 17.
“It’s difficult when they come up against experienced opposition.
“With youth comes naivety but they are learning.
“We need to address that if we’re going to get promoted next season which is the ultimate ambition.”
Another high-scoring affair saw Nelson beat Rochdale Town by the odd goal in a five-goal thriller at Lomeshaye Way’s Little Wembley on Wednesday night.
Tom Anderton’s brace and Nick Hodson’s strike were enough to seal maximum points.
“We made hard work of it really,” said Fell.
“We were below par in the first half but fantastic in the second and it’s not the first time we’ve been like that.
“We struggled to get going and were 1-0 down at half-time as a result.
“We probably had the better of the chances in the opening 45 minutes but we conceded from a set-piece just before the break.
“We’ve spoken to the players on a couple of occasions about their application and desire.
“It appeared Rochdale wanted it a little bit more than we did but in the second half we responded and were magnificent.
“Tom Anderton took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored twice while laying on the other.
“We could’ve won by more as well but we missed an open goal, hit the bar and squandered a couple of one-on-ones.
“We were very much deserving of the three points.”
The Blues travel to Pershall Park tomorrow to take on Eccleshall, kick-off 3 p.m., though they’ll be without influential skipper Chris Turner who has picked up a knee injury.
“Eccleshall are a team with mixed fortunes,” said Fell. “I expect them to be a big, strong side but I think our attacking threat will blow them away. We’ll be without Chris Turner for the fixture. He came off at half-time against Rochdale and he needs a rest. He’ll have a scan on his knee so we can see the extent of the injury.”