Bo’ness United defender Ross Campbell says the players feel responsible for former manager Steve Kerrigan leaving the club after their horror second half showing against Tranent last week.
In a post dressing-room debrief after their 5-0 mauling, Campbell revealed he and his team-mates had held their hands up to take the blame for an out of character showing, but that Kerrigan had claimed it was he who was at fault.
As it would transpire, Kerrigan resigned from his post over the weekend, with the man who inspired his departure – Tranent boss Max Christie – announced as the club’s new manager on Wednesday night, after he quit Tranent, as first revealed by the Evening News.
Christie and his backroom staff of coaches, Ian Black and Kevin Haynes, will not be in charge tomorrow when the BUs visit East of Scotland B leaders Bonnyrigg Rose with assistant-player Andy Shirra and the suspended Stuart Hunter in control of first-team affairs.
“It was shock for us,” said Campbell on Kerrigan leaving the club. “In the dressing-room he took responsibility for it and then there was a couple of wee words from the players as if to say it was us and not him. He’s obviously taken time out over the weekend and decided that’s what is best.
“He took it on his own shoulders as opposed to it being down to the team. We had a few bits of bad luck and over the piece it was an unfair result. He obviously took it quite personally unfortunately – which happens – we just need to get on with it. We were surprised. He knows his own situation more than anyone else so we have to respect it.”
After such a traumatic week at the club, the last match Bo’ness would have wanted is a trip to the league leaders who are unbeaten since September and have won all eight matches since Robbie Horn returned to the club as manager in November.
Campbell continued: “We need to show them that we can actually compete as opposed to what we showed in the second half last Saturday.
“We just need to get on with it, especially with everything going on with Kegs leaving. People are probably looking at it not expecting anything, but we just need to go on and take it as it is.”
Bonnyrigg have put everything into trying to get tomorrow’s match on with covers having been put down on their New Dundalk Park pitch since Sunday, with pupils from Lasswade High School helping out earlier this week.
Horn is expecting a difficult encounter despite last week’s result, and has encouraged his players to build on last weekend’s 5-1 victory at Sauchie.
He said: “We’ve been performing well. There’s been second halves of games where we’ve maybe not performed as well as we would’ve liked, but on Saturday we performed for the full 90. I can’t be too critical when we are winning every week.
“We’ve been a wee bit complacent in terms of some of our second-half performances when they think the game has been won and we’ve not maybe performed as well in the second half of games. On Saturday we stressed to the players about the second-half performance and on Saturday it was really good.
“I was really shocked at the result against Tranent. I know in the first half they were dominant and they probably should’ve been ahead. It just shows you that in these games the first goal is so important. I know how difficult Bo’ness will make it, they have a lot of good experienced players.”