David BINGHAM is only midway through his first season as a manager with Preston Athletic and already he is experiencing the mixed emotions that come with the status of being in complete charge of a team.
Bingham’s head was in a spin two weeks ago when Preston shared the points in a 5-5 draw with Vale of Leithen. Preston took a two-goal lead early in the game before Vale pulled a goal back just on half-time. With only 15 minutes of the second half gone Preston trailed 4-2 before they levelled. However, Vale edged ahead with seven minutes left and in the fourth minute of stoppage time Preston grabbed the equaliser.
“There are two ways of looking at that result,” explained Bingham. “With less than ten minutes remaining we were getting no points and managed to get one while at the other end of the spectrum we were leading 2-0 and could have picked up all three points but for some defensive errors which led to a completely different half-time team talk.
“We looked fragile to go 4-2 down then pulled the game back only for us to try to throw it away again although fair play to my players who kept going to get the equaliser.”
Last weekend, Bingham made his first return to Raydale Park where he was a goalscoring legend for Gretna in the Scottish League. Bingham played 54 games for Gretna and scored 30 goals after joining them from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
“It was nice to return to Gretna where there are still a few familiar faces,” said Bingham. “However, we lost 3-0 and that was probably what we deserved as our defence committed some cardinal errors.”
Turning his attention to tomorrow’s home game against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, Bingham added: “Our next three league games are at home and they are games I think we are capable of winning although I need all eleven players on the park to play to their full potential, step up and take responsibility.
“Lothian had a great result against Whitehill Welfare last Saturday and that shows that this Premier Division is unpredictable. You cannot say that any team is definitely going to beat any other – it is whoever is the best team on the day and anything can happen. Lothian have had some decent results and they are above us in the league although the table is disjointed at present. The bottom line is that we must pick up points.
“We are at home and I reckon we can give any team a game but my players need to believe in themselves and give 100 per cent. They should have pride in their performances and play with ambition, always looking to improve.
“It is up to us to take the game to Lothian and secure a much-needed three points.”
Preston are without Kevin Barr, who is suspended, while Calum Kerr is doubtful. Bingham has signed experienced goalkeeper Willie Turner while John Gilbertson and Sean Thomson are out injured.
Lothian Thistle, after their 3-2 win against Whitehill last Saturday in which Alan McDonagh scored two wonder goals, are also looking forward to the game.
“We have been doing well in our last six games,” said goal hero McDonagh. “We deserved to win last Saturday so all credit to the boys. Last season we had a lot of ups and downs with changes of managers.
“Everyone is more united this season mainly due to the fact we have been playing well and scoring goals, which has given us all confidence.”
Lothian boss Grant Carnie added: “There is a great balance, a great spirit and a great work ethic within the squad and we are really fit. We are in a very positive frame of mind and we want to get the best out of every player. We are on a good run and a few more wins would take us right up the table so tomorrow we start again against Preston who I watched recently in their 5-5 draw. They will definitely not find it as easy to score against us! David [Bingham] is a great coach and his team like to play football as we want to do as well.
“If we do what we are capable of doing then we can come away with all three points although we will certainly not be under-estimating Preston. When we beat Whitehill last Saturday we sent a message out that we are capable of beating any team.”
Carnie has goalkeeper Kevin Swain in exceptional form although he is missing Ross Elliot and Conan McDiarmid.
The game kicks off at the Pennypit Stadium, Prestonpans at 2.30pm, with admission prices: adults £4.00 and concessions £2.00.