Harvey hails Haddington’s high standards

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Three points will secure Haddington Athletic their first league title in 16 years when they host Pumpherston at Millfield Park tomorrow afternoon in their penultimate match of the season.

The East Lothian outfit have been stuck in the bottom tier since league reconstruction in season 2002/03, but they secured promotion to the Premier League last weekend with a 4-0 victory away to Stoneyburn.

Manager Johnny Harvey, who led Edinburgh United to the South Division title last term before dropping back down a level with the Hi-Hi, lauded his players for their attitude and determination to improve as they surged to the summit of the table.

“I put high demands on the players and I think they’ve responded to it,” he said. “I think they like the demands that I put on them and I think that brings the best out of them, rather than me being easy-oasy and anything will do. Even if are winning two or three-nil, I’ll pick out flaws and demand that they are better the week after.”

Harvey’s men have been relentless in recent weeks, scoring 18 goals in their past four league matches, supplementing their best ever start to a league campaign in which they won all seven of their opening games.

Harvey and his players are now relishing the chance to be crowned champions at Millfield Park. “It’s great to have the opportunity to win it at home,” he said. “To do it in front of our own fans and all the committee will make it all the more sweeter.

“In the dressing room on Saturday I congratulated them on promotion and a few of the guys harped back and said ‘that’s nothing, we want the league title’. Promotion wasn’t a cause for celebrating – the celebrations will start if we win the league.”