I LOVE solving problems - which is a good job as I'm manager of Chester City!
This week I've already had two headaches land on my desk. First my Maltese centre back Luke Dimech has international dates that clash with Chester games.
I'd never stand in the way of anyone representing their country and it is great to have internationals playing at Chester City but it still causes problems in preparing for our league games.
The other problem I've had this week is the PFA slapping a transfer embargo on us until all severance payments to play-ers who left are paid.
I don't like to be downbeat and the ideal scenario is that I don't take problems to the chairman, I take solutions. You identify what the problems are and say this is how we are going to sort it out.
Unfortunately, at the moment, it seems I'm taking solutions to the chairman and he's giving me more problems. I'm dealing with his problems and he's finding other problems - maybe it's because I'm so good at finding solutions!
I like it this way though, because it's testament to the re-
lationship I have with the chairman. When I first walked in the door he said all football problems - you deal with.
I was on the phone to my good friend and Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock this week telling him a few of things that happened behind the scenes here that I was having to deal with. He just laughed down the phone.
He's seen it all before and he's loving the fact that I'm going through it. But he tells me to absorb it all and I'll come through it a better manager.
I know that how I deal with things now will set me up for the rest of my career. It's all knowledge in the bank.
Neil's great for advice like that. Sometimes I ring him up thinking 'what am I going to do' and he just laughs and puts the phone down.
Other times I can ring him up and he'll be on the phone for an hour, giving me advice. It's great just to be able to talk to someone who has seen it all and done it all.
The laughing makes you realise you're normal, that these things happen to all managers and that I've just got to deal with it.
The kind of problems I like to work out are how to get 800 extra people into the stadium every week. If we could do that it would help the football club run a little bit smoother. Bills would get paid on time and my life would be easier.
We're lucky that our chairman pays through barren times and if I could I would order every player and member of staff to get 15 people off the streets, drag them through the doors and shake money out of their pockets.
But we aren't a charity. People aren't just going to come and put money through the letterbox. They want value for money so I've got to build a team that performs, entertains and wins.