Linlithgow Rose boss Gordon Herd's 'wake up' warning as East of Scotland title race goes to wire
Linlithgow Rose manager Gordon Herd has told his players to “wake up” or risk throwing away the East of Scotland Premier Division crown.
Having previously gone on a 21-game winning run in league and cup, Linlithgow have now lost three of their last four league games.
The form blip could not have come at a worse time and was laid bare last weekend when Rose surrendered a 2-0 lead at Dunbar United to lose 3-2 – conceding two goals in the last five minutes.
Herd warned: "The boys need to wake up and get out of this sleepwalk that they’re in or they’re going to throw away this league title and the rest of their season if they don’t get out of it quick.
"It’s something we need to look at as well as a management team.
"Confidence is fragile but we’ll get the boys together and we’ll pick it up.
“It was a real kick in the stomach to lose two goals so late.
"We just seemed to capitulate. We were cruising at 2-0, they scored from a free-kick and the way the lack of confidence is with the boys at the moment, Dunbar just took advantage of it.”
Rose have 62 points with six league fixtures to play. Leaders Penicuik Athletic have 63 points with seven games left, while third placed Tranent Juniors are only below Linlithgow on goal difference but have eight games remaining.
Herd added: “It just needs a game for us to click and come out of this run. We’re still in the hunt so it’s not panic stations.
"We just need to regroup, get back to where we can be and give it one final push.
"There’s still a few twists and turns to come in the league.
"We spoke to the players on Tuesday night and we’re confident ahead of Saturday that we can get a good result and then just get back to where we should be.”
Linlithgow get a break from the league this Saturday as they host West Calder in League Cup Group J.
"If we win on Saturday we still have to go to Luncarty and win to qualify,” Herd said.