Mark Bradley reveals shock as he parts company with Linlithgow Rose

Linlithgow Rose have parted ways with manager Mark Bradley and assistant Paul Ronald following a 6-2 thrashing by Musselburgh Athletic.

Sunday, 29th September 2019, 4:14 pm
Mark Bradley and assistant Paul Ronald

The West Lothian Premier Division outfit were torn apart by their impressive hosts at Olivebank on Saturday and released a statement yesterday confirming the club’s decision to wield the axe.

Bradley and Ronald leave with Rose fifth in the league table having won four of their opening six league fixtures. The Prestonfield side are also through to the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup where they will play Lowland League club University of Stirling next month.

Musselburgh, meanwhile, showed some real genuine quality despite their inconsistent start to the season, Nathan Evans and Darren Downie each scoring twice with Declan O’Kane and Daniel McBay also on target for Kevin McDonald’s side.

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It’s a quick turnaround for Musselburgh, however, as they travel with some renewed confidence to current league leaders Bo’ness United on Wednesday night.

Bradley revealed: “I am still really shocked by the decision. To have reached an agreement to sack Paul and I following the defeat to Musselburgh is really hard to take. But when I think of the age of some of the people on the board and committee then maybe it isn’t too much of a surprise.

“I never thought it would end like this. I have given my heart and soul to this club for the last 12 years so this decision really has left a bad taste in my mouth.

“We are operating with a far smaller budget than what previous managers have had but we managed to improve the team and quality of player massively.

“I can accept these things when it perhaps is the right time to move on but we’re still in all of the cups and had Saturday’s result gone differently, we could have been sitting top of the league.

“Some of the people running the club aren’t living in the real world so whoever comes in good luck to them because they are going to need it.

McDonald was thrilled with the outcome in East Lothian but had some sympathy for Linlithgow’s departing duo.

“I don’t think it is off the back of Saturday’s result as they are three points off top spot with a game in hand and into the second round of the Scottish Cup,” he said. “I think it’s a surprise to everyone.

“They will be hurting because I don’t think they’ve been beaten 6-2 by any team. You never want to see managers lose their jobs but I think that the bigger clubs you go to the more ruthless it becomes. It is difficult.

“I spoke to Mark before the game and he seemed in good spirits but I never managed to catch him after. We’ve struggled with injuries in key areas so far this year but I think this could be a turning point. We’ve got that belief back that we’re a good side.

“We’re still miles away from where we need to be as we’ve only got six points from the first six games.

“To win any football match in our league is tough. You’ve got to enjoy it but we’ve got to refocus Bo’ness on Wednesday night. I had a 15, 17 and 19-year-old on the bench on Saturday so we were down to the bare bones. We don’t carry a big squad but thankfully we should be good to go for Wednesday.”