HADDINGTON Athletic manager Joe Hamill admits his side “lost the plot” as they were thrashed 7-2 by county neighbours Tranent Juniors on Saturday.

Hamill said he was “gutted” by the result as Tranent ran riot.

And the Hi Hi boss told Courier Sport: “It was really disappointing.

“The last 15 or 20 minutes especially was painful to watch – we had players playing out of position and we were all over the place.

“We lost the plot a bit really.”

The ex-Hearts and Leicester City midfielder did, though, praise the efforts of his threadbare squad in getting through the last few weeks, but called on them to learn from Saturday’s drubbing.

“We had six or seven boys missing through various reasons and we’ve had boys playing out of position and we’re having to play very young lads as well,” he said.

“It’s not ideal but we’re in the same position this weekend so we’ve just got to learn from it.”

The 34-year-old player/boss wants his side to toughen up, starting with a rematch against the Belters in the SFA South Region Challenge Cup at Foresters Park on Saturday.

“We’ve got to be harder to beat,” he said. “I think we’re quite a nice team; we’ve got boys who want to play football but we’ve got to be a bit smarter at times.

“I didn’t think it was a 7-2 game – we created some chances. We got back into the game at 1-1 and then we missed a penalty at 4-1 but after that we fell apart.”

Hamill also hopes the club’s injury crisis will be at an end “in five or six weeks” and revealed that Declan Quinn was due back in training following the dislocated hip he suffered at Ormiston.

The Hi Hi boss, currently sidelined with a groin injury, was several weeks away from being able to play himself but had still considered putting himself in the team for the game.