BEING “written off” as title contenders will only inspire Tranent Juniors, warned boss Calum Elliot.

The Belters sit third in what is increasingly looking like a three-horse race in the Premier Division of the East of Scotland Football League.

But despite trailing leaders Penicuik by just five points, the manager feels some are already ruling his team out.

He said: “We have been written off.

“That has got to be something that motivates the boys; not that they need motivating.

“We have been written off and now it is up to them to show we can fight and will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

“Linlithgow Rose are still to have a dip and Penicuik Athletic have been the most consistent team in the league.

“I expect Linlithgow to drop points and it is how they react.”

East Lothian Courier: Calum Elliot feels his Tranent Juniors team are still in the title battle, despite some people writing them off. Picture: Tranent JuniorsCalum Elliot feels his Tranent Juniors team are still in the title battle, despite some people writing them off. Picture: Tranent Juniors

Tranent and their West Lothian rivals are yet to face each other this season, while Elliot’s men also still have to travel to Penicuik Park, where they won in the Scottish Cup.

The former Hearts striker felt his team could not afford many slip-ups in their bid to win the title and potential promotion to the Scottish Lowland Football League.

But he stressed there would be plenty of twists and turns between now and the end of the season on May 14.

He said: “There is lots to play for.

“Each teams believes they have got a chance of winning the league.

“If we are right and Linlithgow are right, we beat them – that’s how much confidence I have got in the boys.”

East Lothian Courier: Tranent Juniors (maroon), shown here against Sauchie earlier in the season, sit third in the Premier Division tableTranent Juniors (maroon), shown here against Sauchie earlier in the season, sit third in the Premier Division table

The Belters were due to return to action on Saturday against Dunbar United but a lack of players available for Tranent has seen the match postponed.

Before the match was called off, Elliot said of the team’s lack of available players: “It is a mixture of short and long-term injuries. We need to make sure we get them back as early as possible, when it is right to do so, and make sure they come in and have the impact we know they can do.”