FORMER Hearts player Kevin Twaddle insists he is enjoying his involvement in the game more than ever as co-manager of Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.
The 40-year-old retired winger is happy to pass on his vast experience and knowledge to his East of Scotland League players although, he admits, it can be frustrating at times. Lothian entertain Heriot Watt University at Saughton Enclosure tomorrow in the Central Taxis Premier Division after drawing 3-3 at home to Vale of Leithen last weekend. “At this level it is about consistency,” said Twaddle. “In one game players can be brilliant and in the next, poor. Grant [Carnie, co-manager] and me want high standards in every game with all of our players showing passion and desire but above all we need effort.
“Earlier in the season we completely blew Whitehill away with a 4-1 win then last Saturday we were trailing Vale of Leithen 3-0 at half-time. Obviously we never really started in that first half, although I don’t honestly believe that there was a three-goal margin in the game at that time. Vale scored a brilliant first goal but then we gave them two goals from silly positional play. We asked the players at half-time for more effort and commitment and then we scored right away. That helped us and to be fair there was only one team in the second half and we could actually have won the game. What was pleasing was that the boys showed real character. They achieved the same level of work rate and perseverance that they showed for the whole match against Whitehill. Our boys are enthusiastic and we have seen the highs they can achieve so it is about getting their mind-set fixed.
“Tomorrow we play Heriot Watt University who Grant and I watched play Whitehill recently. They have a few quality players and they try to play football so we know that this will be a really hard challenge. The students are very well coached by Michale Renwick and we know what to expect from them. Our boys will certainly need to be at the top of their game.”
Lothian have left-sided midfield player Lloyd Dignan in excellent form and Twaddle added: “Lloyd has so much ability that I honestly believe he could play at a far higher level.”
Ross Elliot has also made an impressive start to the season along with Paul Crawford and Callum Connelly. “Our players know that tomorrow will be a hard game but they are willing to listen and learn. If we turn up and show some consistency then it is a game we are capable of winning,” added Twaddle.
Heriot Watt University, meanwhile, had a free weekend because of the Scotland game against Serbia although they did play the previous midweek when they lost 2-0 to Whitehill. “That result was a wee bit disappointing,” said the students’ head coach, Michael Renwick. “However, I was encouraged by the way we played. Whitehill scored their goals at good times because we dominated the game in terms of possession although we lacked a goal threat.
“We have trained hard this week ahead of tomorrow’s game against Lothian and we have worked on improving our play in the final third. There have been a lot of positives in how we have started the season and if we are to have any aspirations of finishing in the top half of the Premier Division then this is a fixture we are looking to win. It will be a tough game but we are going there very attack-minded.”
Renwick hopes to receive International clearance to play a Norwegian striker who has enrolled at the University although defender Simon Ferrie is unavailable. The game kicks off at Saughton Enclosure at 2.30pm with admission charges, adults £5.00 and concessions, £2.00.