BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Falkirk manager Peter Houston admits his team’s impressive start to the season spared the squad a dressing down in the wake of Wednesday’s 7-0 annihilation at the hands of Ross County.
The Bairns were torn to shreds by the ruthless Staggies in the third round of the League Cup on Tuesday evening.
The result was all the more surprising given that the Championship side have won four out of their first six matches in the league and currently sit second behind Rangers.
But wary of damaging his team’s confidence even more ahead of tonight’s visit of Queen of the South, and acknowledging their good start to the campaign, Houston refrained from reading the the riot act to his team.
He said: “It’s a fine balance, it would be wrong for me to have a proper go at them because in the previous games our guys have worked extremely hard.
“It turned out to be an embarrassment but if I’m being honest, I’m going to look at the mistakes we’ve made, learn from it and put it on the back burner because the league was always going to be the priority.
“We want a run in the cups as well but our target at the start of the season was to get into the play-offs.
“We’ve started the season well and I could be very critical of the players with regards to our performance the other night but we have to remember that we’re sitting with 14 out of 18 points.
“Yeah we have to be critical of the performance and show them where they went wrong but it’s also a short turnover for the Queens game and we have to be ready for that.”
Houston is hoping his team can cement their place in the play-off positions against the side that finished fourth last season.
He added: “It’s Queens at home in front of the television cameras and I’m a fan of Friday night football.
“Queens got to the play-offs last season and we know they’ve lost some players, but James Fowler is working hard to build a squad again.
“It is a team that I think will be in the mix along with the likes of ourselves, Raith Rovers, St Mirren and Dumbarton.”
After losing several key players, Queen have struggled to replicate last season’s form and are heading to Falkirk without a victory in five matches.
Doonhamers captain Chris Higgins said: “Falkirk have started really well and kept a lot of their players from last season. They’ve kept that momentum and have that confidence.
“We need to match them for quality and effort.”