Admirals boss Cunningham is on a scouting mission

Nelson FC boss Steve Cunningham
Nelson FC boss Steve Cunningham

Nelson manager Steve Cunningham has drafted in a scout at Victoria Park to help him get ahead of the game in the Hallmark Security First Division North.

The Admirals will take on a number of unknown quantities this season, having already lost out to newcomers Shelley FC, and they’ll travel to JBV Park to take on Cleator Moor Celtic without any knowledge of the opposition tomorrow.

Cunningham conceded that he doesn’t know what to expect in Cumbria but the appointment of joint boss Andy Harrison as his eyes and ears will benefit the club enormously moving forward.

“You don’t know what to expect from these new sides,” he said. “It’s new territory because we’ve never played them before and we don’t know anything about them.

“We’re up against another new team tomorrow so, again, we don’t have a clue what to expect. We’ve employed a scout now because these sides need watching.”

The Blues capitalised on familiarity on the opening day of the season when Brett Doogan netted the only goal of the game against Chadderton midway through the first half at the ARK Fleetech Stadium.

However, goals from Craig Billington and Emmerson Bradshaw saw Ash Berry’s side come out on top midweek.

“It was really disappointing and after the first game it was a bit of a slap in the face,” said Cunningham.

“They turned up on Saturday, they were really up for the new season, they got the win, we prepared them properly, but I think they got a little bit complacent. That might do them a bit of a favour.

“In the first half we had 75% of the game and their first goal came from a mistake. We’ve hit the post, missed an open net, missed the target from four yards out, so we’ve created chances.

“If we’d have scored the first goal we’d have gone on to win the game comfortably. We just gave them something to hold on to. There were plenty of positives to take though.”

He added: “We’re determined not to have a repeat of last season.

“We don’t want to be fighting for our lives in the relegation zone again. Our aim is to finish in that top six and we’ve got a squad capable of achieving that.

“They’re a new side so it’s going to take them time to gel. That was evident against Shelley. There are lots of new relationships that need to grow on the pitch. They’ve just got to learn.”