Linlithgow Rose defender Colin Leiper insists the club simply have to win silverware this season to appease their frustrated supporters who have gone without glory for three years.
Known as one of the big guns in the East, the Prestonfield men have failed to live up to their billing as Junior giants in recent seasons, with last year’s spectacular William Hill Scottish Cup run to the fourth round perhaps manager David McGlynn’s only saving grace.
Leiper, who became one of McGlynn’s first signing’s as Rose boss last summer when he joined from Bo’ness United, understands the frustrations emanating from the Prestonfield support because he’s desperate for glory himself.
But, he insists fans have to cut his boss some slack, with many calling for McGlynn’s head after they lost their opening two matches because he barely had a squad to pick from.
Rose have sprouted after their opening two defeats with two victories in succession over Penicuik Athletic and Broxburn Athletic and go into tomorrow’s match at home to promoted Lochee United seeking their third win on the trot.
“It’s been a poor start, but we’ve been really unfortunate with injures to be honest,” said Leiper, who hopes to be back in action tomorrow after sustaining a knee injury in the season opener against Broughty Athletic.
“The manager has been limited with the options that he’s got and we’ve had a lot of players that have been playing out of position. With the midweek games, the same 11 or 12 players have been playing all these games so it’s not been ideal.
“I’ve always thought the first two or three games can be your most difficult in a season because a lot of teams are in different stages in terms of fitness. Last year it was similar, we drew our first few games of the season but we were still challenging for the league towards the end.
“It’s not ideal losing the first two games, you want to get points on the board early doors, but it’s a long season and everyone is going to have a rough patch at some point. Hopefully that’s out the road from our point of view.
“I think Linlithgow has to win something every season, that’s just the expectation of the committee, fans and the players. It needs to happen this season for everyone that is affiliated with the club. It has to change. I came to this club because I wanted to win trophies and I’m as hungry as anybody to do that.”
McGlynn has also come under fire from sections of the Rose support, with fans expressing their dismay at the departure of long-serving striker Colin Strickland and brothers Ruari and Roddy MacLennan, who snubbed the offer of new deals to join rivals Bo’ness.
The former Musselburgh Athletic boss has freshened up his squad, using his contacts in the senior game to bring in several youngsters who have plied their trade in the lower leagues, including former Livingston duo Scott Gray and Jack Beaumont.
Leiper continued: “With Coco and the two MacLennans leaving, it’s players that the fans have spent a lot of time watching over the years. I don’t really know what happened – why they were let go or why they left, but at the end of the day the manager is the manager.
“It’s his responsibility at the end of the day whether he wants to bring in his own players. If it doesn’t work for him then the axe will get wielded in his direction, but if it works for him all the praise will get thrown in his direction.
“In terms of the first two games, I think you have to give the manager the benefit of the doubt because he barely had a squad to choose from.”
Elsewhere, champions Bonnyrigg Rose and Bo’ness United will be looking to cut Kelty Hearts’ lead at the top of the table with the Fife club having set the pace, winning all four of their opening games. Rose host Broughty, while the BUs visit Jeanfield. Penicuik and Newtongrange are both on their travels with trips to Dundonald Bluebell and Hill of Beath, while Calvin Shand’s Musselburgh host Camelon at Olivebank.