Ex-Berwick Rangers boss Johnny Harvey: "I hope to God they get out of this"
Outgoing Berwick Rangers manager Johnny Harvey was keen to wish his former employers all the best as they go into the biggest two matches in their history.
Berwick announced Harvey’s departure on the morning of Thursday, May 2, after a 3-0 loss to Albion Rovers guaranteed the club would have to compete in the play-offs.
Highland League champions Cove Rangers will be the opponents after they emerged from a two-legged tie with East Kilbride with a 5-1 aggregate success.
Defeat over two legs to Cove would mean Lowland League football for Rangers.
Speaking to the Berwickshire News after his departure from Shielfield, Harvey was keen to insist that focus is on the Cove Rangers match – and not on him.
“I genuinely wish Berwick Rangers all the best,” he said.
“I’ve played a massive part in the predicament they find themselves in now and I hope to God they get out of that.”
Harvey, who took over from good friend Robbie Horn in the middle of October, mentioned a number of factors that have led Berwick to the play-off they now find themselves in – but refused to allow himself to use any as an excuse.
“I need to take some accountability for where we are and there’s no excuses being made by me but there are factors that we are struggling with at Berwick, regardless who comes in.
“Stuff needs to change for the club to move away from where we are.”
Robbie Horn made clear the problems the Berwick Rangers job put on his health after he left the club – and Harvey too admitted he was taking football stuff home with him.
The 36-year-old, who works full-time as a sales manager for Arnold Clark, said it sometimes felt as if he had two permanent jobs.
Horn also added that budget constraints had made things difficult – with a far bigger budget available at Bonnyrigg Rose, who he has just taken into the Lowland League, than Berwick.
Harvey agreed with that – adding that the average wage difference between his former club Penicuik, whose budget is average for the East of Scotland League, and Berwick is insignificant.
For the up coming play-offs against Cove, John Brownlie and Ian Little will take charge of the Borderers – with the first match away this Saturday. As for Harvey, he is going to take some time away and is not rushing into anything – but admits he will be wanting back in football in no time.