Whitehill Welfare vice-captain Scott Lucas says the players need to take a long hard look at themselves in wake of Gary Small’s shock departure from the Rosewell hot seat last week.
The Ferguson Park side are one of three clubs without a point to their name in the Lowland League – Selkirk and Gala Fairydean Rovers are the others – after suffering consecutive defeats to Edusport Academy, Kelty Hearts and Gretna 2008.
Despite the new season being just four days old, the Whitehill board reached the decision to axe Small 24 hours after the 6-0 loss to Kelty ten days ago.
Small has admitted he feels mistreated by a club he was appointed head coach of last June and central midfielder Lucas says the rest of the dressing room harbours some sympathy for their former boss.
First-team coach Jock Landells oversaw the 3-2 defeat to Gretna last Saturday and will again take charge for this weekend’s trip to title hopefuls East Stirlingshire.
“It was a shock to everyone with what happened last week,” 32-year-old Lucas explained. “Anybody looking from the outside in might see it as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. Everyone will have their own opinion, but I still feel we need to be judged against the teams around us like Stirling Uni or Dalbeattie, and not Kelty Hearts.
“I guess the board just felt conceding ten goals in the first two games wasn’t acceptable. I suppose the management and coaching staff take the blame for that but I think the responsibility also lies with the players. We haven’t been anywhere near the levels we should be so far this term. I know we’re not expected to win every match, but we should be giving a better account of ourselves. I think we’ve all let Smally down, if the truth be told.”
Whitehill have given no time frame as to when a new manager will be in place. However, Lucas insists it is important they focus on matters on the pitch in the days and weeks ahead.
“We know with each game there is a chance to pick up a win to try and climb the table,” he said. “To be 2-1 up against Gretna last week and comfortable, only to lose was a real sickener for us. It was in our control so individual mistakes have killed us there. It’s been hugely disappointing the way the season has panned out so far.
“Obviously it’s a tough league, but looking at our first three fixtures, we were looking to take at least four points, six at a push if we were being greedy. We just have to take each game as it comes now. It’s almost a free hit for us tomorrow as East Stirlingshire have been on a good run so their expectation levels are really high at the moment. We’ve just go to go and try and cause a shock on the day. It’s a chance for us to right our wrongs and pull our fingers out.
“Some of the boys might see it as a chance of a fresh start to impress the new manager whenever the appointment’s made.”
Meanwhile, second-placed Civil Service Strollers will be aiming for their third straight win when they host Cumbernauld Colts at Christie Gillies Park.
Strollers followed up last weekend’s 3-1 victory over city rivals Edinburgh University with a 5-0 triumph over troubled Selkirk in the Borders on Wednesday night.
Elsewhere, Edinburgh Uni travel to Galabank to play Edusport Academy and champions Spartans welcome Dalbeattie Star to Ainslie Park.