Though his side's schedule is less demanding than that of their Scottish rivals, Frank Hadden, the Edinburgh coach, yesterday made a scathing attack on the format of the Celtic League which sees his men face two crucial matches this week.

Edinburgh face Pool B leaders Neath at Myreside tonight before travelling to Newport on Saturday, whereas Glasgow meet Bridgend tomorrow then play host to Pontypridd on Friday, yet those two extra days' recovery time are little consolation.

''I've no idea whether we can carry the momentum from Friday into tomorrow,'' he said. ''Sometimes you just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best, which is exactly what Neath will be doing as well because they are on the back of a long journey.

''They are a very good side who had a successful weekend (beating Cardiff 23-14), but you can't prepare properly because you haven't got time to examine the opposition or develop themes from Friday night.

''We had very little say in the schedule and the foot-and-mouth problem had a lot to do with it, but we in the northern hemisphere are victims of our fixture list.

''People say, medically, players should play once every 10 days because it's so tough. You get the old club guys who played with myself and who say they could play three times a week, which of course they could because it wasn't very hard, but it's a different ball game now.''

Edinburgh are, though, in a better position than they might be, with Derrick Lee performing well as a replacement on Friday after a year out of the game, Craig Joiner, Graham Shiel, and Kevin Utterson all playing in club competition at the weekend, and David Officer having been given the all-clear to resume training by his surgeon yesterday.

''With such a small squad - and I know people laugh at that when we've got 30 players, but teams we're facing have 40 or 50 - we have to work extremely hard at avoiding injuries and much of our work over the summer is geared towards that,'' Hadden observed.

''The players understand that and have taken it on board, but it will be amazing if we don't get injuries over Tuesday and Saturday.

''It is absolutely ridiculous that we're playing games so close together.''

He added that the schedule had largely dictated the make-up of tonight's team.

''The lack of changes to our side is because we would only have had an hour to prepare for tomorrow's match if we had made more,'' said the coach.

The only change sees Duncan Hodge return at stand off, at the expense of Gordon Ross, however, Hadden said nothing should be read into that.

''We have actually got Duncan and Gordon into a routine. They've both had plenty of experience so quite soon I hope we'll be in a position where whoever plays won't make a difference and we'll be able to take advantage of their different strengths and weaknesses,'' he explained.

Edinburgh v Neath C Paterson; C Murray, M Di Rollo, C Howarth, C Sharman; D Hodge, I Fairley; A Jacobsen, S Scott, C Smith, M Jolly, R Metcalfe, D Mackinnon capt, M Leslie, S Taylor. Replacements P Robertson, G Whittingham, A Dall, G Dall, M Blair, G Ross, D Lee

Neath (from) N Bonner-Evans, K James, S Connor, D Tieuti, J Storey, A Bateman, R Francis, L Jarvis, G Morris, A Moore, P Horgan, A Mocelutu, J Slade, G Llewellyn, S Martin, B Sinkinson, A Howells, S Jones, B Williams, A Millward, D Jones, P James

lTommy Hayes, the Glasgow stand-off, is undergoing intensive physio in his bid to be fit to face Bridgend at The Brewery Field tomorrow.