Lowland League: Whitehill defender Keane to see Landells remain as boss

Jock Landells
Jock Landells
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WHITEHILL WELFARE defender Kevin Keane believes the club’s testing start to the campaign has made the squad more determined to rally as they aim to put Spartans to the sword.

Interim manager Jock Landells continues to deputise in the dugout, a month after Gary Small’s departure, and has witnessed a steady improvement in performance levels.

Whitehill defener Kevin Keane, right

Whitehill defener Kevin Keane, right

Left-back Keane, who returned to the club for a second spell in the summer after playing for Stirling University last season, believes Landells deserves to be given the job on a permanent basis.

The 23-year-old is desperate to build up some momentum as the Rosewell club look to move off the foot of the table this weekend.

Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Ainslie Park to face old foes Spartans, Keane said: “The boys haven’t really spoken about the manager situation, we’re just taking it one training session at a time and focusing on the next game.

“I was on holiday and missed the first four games, so I didn’t actually get to play under Gary (Small) before he was dismissed of his duties.

“However, Jock has put his own stamp on things and, I’ve really enjoyed it.

“Every manager or coach is different and likes to work on things their own way, but training has been of a high-tempo.

“The majority of the boys have stuck together and we’re playing for each other. We want to help the club rebuild again.

“We’ve got a young squad and I know Jock is keen to bring in some more experienced heads to help us out.

“We’ve rallied around the gaffer and I’d imagine if we continue to pick up points over the next few weeks, I can’t see any reason why Jock shouldn’t be given the job.”

Keane netted his first goal of the campaign in the 3-1 defeat by Gala Fairydean Rovers ten days ago, but reckons his team-mates have been given a much-needed confidence boost after ending their six-match winless run against Dalbeattie last weekend.

He declared: “We needed it badly, but hopefully now we can kick on up the table. We’ve known for a while that our performances haven’t been up to scratch and it’s been tough 
going.

“The boys were all bitterly disappointed with the second- half performance against Gala because with an extra man we thought we would’ve gone on to win the game.

“It wasn’t good enough and we had to bounce back against Dalbeattie. The boys delivered a great team performance and we deserved to win the match.

“Scoring three goals in the manner we did will have filled everyone with confidence, especially the strikers. Even for our goalkeeper Ross (Jardine) to keep his first clean sheet was really pleasing.”

The Ferguson Park men had shipped goals at an alarming rate during the opening month of the season, and Keane is adamant keeping things tight at the back against the reigning champions will be vital if they are to take something from the game.

He stated: “It’s a huge game for us against one of our rivals. It will be a tough ask but it’s the type of game you want ideally after last weekend and hopefully we can keep the momentum going.

“If we can put in a similar display, I don’t see why we can’t get something from the game. Results have shown already this season that any team can pick up points against anyone.

“Most of the games in this league are on astroturf pitches now, so I don’t think that will make any difference, I think we perform better on that type of surface anyway.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh University face bogey side Stirling University at Peffermill, while second-placed Civil Service Strollers entertain BSC Glasgow at Christie Gillies Park. Gary Jardine’s men are looking to stretch their unbeaten run to five matches.