Gordon Herd exclusive: Update on coronavirus crisis at Linlithgow Rose
A gut wrenching 2-1 Scottish Cup preliminary round exit to Banks O’Dee, players loyal to previous manager Brown Ferguson wanting to leave and then a Covid outbreak which saw eight players test positive and their last two fixtures being postponed.
To say Gordon Herd has had a tough start to life as Linlithgow Rose’s new gaffer would be an understatement.
Herd, speaking in the wake of Saturday’s home East of Scotland Premier Division game against Broxburn Athletic being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak within his squad, told the Journal and Gazette: "It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire. There have been some players who were happy with the previous regime so when a new manager has come in they’ve asked to get away.
"We’ve had to deal with that, the Covid outbreak and the Scottish Cup defeat two sessions into taking charge.
"It’s a challenge but we’ll definitely get it right.”
With the Covid self isolation period for five of his players – Alan Docherty, Mark Stowe, Alan Sneddon, Arnie Kasa and Dean Shaw – ending, all will be available for this Saturday’s South Challenge Cup first round trip to Derek Ure’s Lowland League East Stirlingshire side.
“The game should go ahead barring any more Covid outbreaks,” Herd said.
"It will be a tough game against the Shire.
"They’ve done pretty well given the changeover in the squad they’ve had.
"They’ve had a few big name players moving on and have gone with probably a wee bit of a younger squad so it will be a challenge, a really tasty cup tie.
"We only had 11 bodies at training on Tuesday night.
"That was including two goalkeepers, so we need to be careful what we’re doing with the boys with fitness.
"We had boys just coming back from Covid on Tuesday night and they were still a wee bit under the weather as such.
"We trained them as much as we could so it’s not been ideal.
"It’s probably a problem that every other club is going to have to face at some point.
"It’s probably a good thing that we had the mass outbreak rather than just one or two as it would have affected team selection if you’re going to have to still play the game.
"We’ve been lucky that we’ve had the high outbreak and been able to get games postponed.”