DANNY SMITH branded Linlithgow Rose’s first-half performance “an embarrassment” following their 3-2 home defeat in the first leg of the Dyslexia Scotland Scottish Junior Cup semi-finals.
Smith’s men were two behind at the break following Jordyn Sheerin’s double but managed to keep themselves in the tie thanks to a Tommy Coyne penalty and a John Ovenstone’s close-range effort.
Smith, whose team travel to Oilvebank this Saturday for the second leg, said: “At half-time I had to question whether our players were up for the fight. Our first-half performance was dreadful. I asked the players in the dressing-room if they had the fire in them to get to the final.
“They might never get another chance to play in a Junior Cup final again and they had to grasp that.
“In the build-up to the game I asked our fans to turn up in numbers, and they did, but our first-half form was an embarrassment for them to see.
“I told them to go out and win the second half and put a smile on the fans faces again and to a degree they did but it will still be a huge job next week to turn things round.”
Smith also left his players in no doubt that their performance dropped well below the standards expected.
He said: “The players have to show a lot more if they are still to be here next season. We find out a lot whenever the players cross the white line.
“We can tell them all the plans for the day but they have to have it within themselves to go out there and do the business. I questioned that at half-time and I didn’t like some of what I saw in the dressing room. Players have to take responsibility for what they do and for the others around them. We had players missing and they will be back for next week. However, it will still be a massive job to make the final.”