ROSS McLaren starts his Vale of Leithen tenure this afternoon against Haddington Athletic and he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

McLaren took charge following the resignation of Joe Murray last weekend in the wake of a 10-2 defeat to Musselburgh.

The 29-year-old has five year’s experience coaching in the East of Scotland League with Vale, Peebles Rovers, Easthouses and Ormiston.

Before that he coached at Pro Youth Level leading Hearts Women U19s to a League Cup final as well coaching Livingston U17s and Hibs.

He said: “I’m gutted about Joe leaving. I loved working with him and think we complimented each other. We both had opinions and he took my ideas on board. I think we worked well together and wish him well in the future.

“Nobody saw the Musselburgh result coming as we’d been playing well in previous games against Crossgates and Lothian Thistle. But it was just one of those games.

“We had a good training session on Tuesday night and added a couple of new faces which improved the moral and we are currently in negotiations.

“So it’s now up to me to salvage something from what’s been a dreadful season. But it’s not just us stranded at the bottom, Oakley are in the same position.

“I’m on the lookout to attract new players but it’s difficult due to the travelling and our budget.  But I want players who are young, hungry and keen to learn.

“It’s all about winning games and each game is different so the tactics will change.

“This is a project for me and I want to build a team that is competitive and then becomes successful.  But that takes time and I’ve never shirked a challenge.”

McLaren has already added to his squad with the the loan signing of Darrell Love from Stirling Albion.