Lumsden believes sacking by Linlithgow is a panic reaction

Todd Lumsden and assistant Steven Hislop have left Linlithgow
Todd Lumsden and assistant Steven Hislop have left Linlithgow
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Todd Lumsden has revealed his bemusement at the decision made on Tuesday night to sack him as manager of Linlithgow Rose.

Lumdsen’s six-month spell in charge at Prestonfield was brought to an abrupt end when he and his assistant, Steven Hislop, were informed over telephone that their services were no longer required.

The events followed Monday night’s 1-0 defeat at home to relegation rivals Newtongrange Star, during which Rose played for 40 minutes with ten men, sending them second bottom and into the automatic relegation places. An emergency committee meeting was called in the wake of the result.

Former Arbroath boss Lumsden expected to be given longer to turn things around, especially considering how he was given no indication that his future at the club was on the line during discussions with members of the committee.

“All you get told from the committee is ‘we know they’re not your players, we just need to get through the season’, so to then be told ‘we need to act now before it’s too late’, it’s a bit of a hard one to take to be honest,” said Lumsden. “The team that played on Monday night was absolutely raved about after the semi-final against Auchinleck, so what’s changed in a week and a half?

“I can only assume ‘too late’ means getting relegated. I would fully expect them to win last night, Saturday and on Monday which is nine points and would avoid automatic relegation. Not once have I blamed the players within the dressing-room or openly to the press but that’s basically all the committee have said all season – ‘the players aren’t good enough but we know you didn’t sign them’.

“I’d rather have had a bit more reasoning behind it and a bit more information but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter sometimes what questions you ask, you won’t get to the bottom of it. I think they’ve panicked to be honest.

“When you get told by the president: ‘Saturday was disappointing, but we just need to stick together and get points’, then on the Tuesday you are out, it’s a quick turnaround.”

Lumsden leaves Rose second bottom with nine league games remaining after leading the club to just two wins from his 12 league games in charge. Two victories would likely be enough to secure their safety given their greater goal difference over Newtongrange, but they could yet end up in the play-off place.

He added: “If you look back at the whole season we’ve lost a number of goals from set-pieces with players just not doing their jobs. I don’t think any team has really dominated us or cut us open, I think we have the second or third best defensive record in the league. We just didn’t score enough goals.

“Ultimately the players need to have a long hard look at themselves. We spoke to them about where Newtongrange were in the league and how many games they had left, but some of the players couldn’t even tell us that was their last game of the season. Clearly the players that are there right now aren’t good enough, because the league standing tells us that.

“I can hold my head up high in terms of how I’ve gone about my business and what we’ve put in and tried to do, it’s just disappointing. Ultimately I only joined the club because Davie McGlynn [former manager] asked us to, which I’m thankful to him to have the opportunity. I didn’t go chasing things when I left Arbroath because if it’s for you, it will not go by you. I’ll just need to see what’s next and just take it from there.”

Rose are now on the search for their fifth manager in just three years. The Evening News understands that former Newtongrange boss Alan Miller and ex-Berwick Rangers manager Jimmy Crease have been put in caretaker charge for the foreseeable future.