Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft admits he would prefer not to be turning out for the West Lancashire League champions this season.
The manager has been pressed into action so far this season following a squad overhaul during the summer.
He has also found the net in helping his players to an unbeaten start with five wins and two draws in their opening seven matches.
Goals were always going to be a headache this season following the departure of the prolific Brad Carsley to Bamber Bridge.
Although Carsley’s new team-mate, Stuart Vasey, has made the opposite journey on loan, the manager is hoping a permanent solution can be found quickly.
“Unfortunately I’ve done OK and the lads want me to play,” Ashcroft said.
“I don’t want to play at 45 years of age but I’ve had to do so in the early part of the season.
“Hopefully, over the next few weeks, someone will be able to come in; Stu Vasey has come in on loan and done brilliantly for four or five games.
“Once he goes back, hopefully we can get a top quality number nine to come in and I can go back to the touchline.”
Town’s unbeaten start comes despite a summer overhaul which saw a number of players follow Carsley through the exit door.
The manager has gone on record as saying he would like to name a settled side and that’s something else he would like to address sooner rather than later.
“I haven’t been able to name the same side yet and that’s been the frustrating thing,” Ashcroft said.
“With losing nine players over the summer and bringing in another eight or nine, it’s been difficult with people’s work commitments and injuries.
“Once we get a proper side out and a regular team playing week in week out then we’ll be alright.”