BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
David McCracken insists Falkirk will take huge confidence from being unbeaten in the league as they bid to put a stop to Rangers’ 100 per cent Championship record this weekend.
The Bairns’ belief suffered a massive dent when they were thrashed 7-0 by Ross County last Tuesday, but they recovered on Friday night to eke out a clean sheet in their goalless draw with Queen of the South.
It means Peter Houston’s side head for Ibrox tucked in behind Rangers in second in the table, having won four and drawn three of their opening seven league encounters.
However, although Falkirk enjoy a game in hand, nine points separate the teams and skipper McCracken is firmly aware Saturday’s clash will be a massive examination of their own promotion credentials.
He said: “We’ve got a couple of big games coming up, so the fact we continued our unbeaten run was really important. It keeps us as close as possible to the teams at the top.
“Saturday will be our biggest test yet. You can see Rangers are a totally different side to last season.
“We had a couple of really good games with them last season and we were unfortunate not to beat them on a couple of occasions.
“But we know it’s going to be a different test. They’re flying high and they’ve got a lot of players playing with a lot of confidence.
“So, we’ll go into that game with the positives from Friday and the confidence from our unbeaten run as well.”
After their embarrassment against Ross County, McCracken admits it was hugely important for Falkirk to keep a clean sheet against Queens, even if it meant their attacking verve was missing in a boring stalemate.
And the experienced 33-year-old, who made his first league start on Friday night, has revealed it was the result of a detailed inquest into what had gone wrong in the Highlands.
He added: “I think the gaffer’s past the stage of coming in and absolutely hammering boys. He pointed out the facts that needed to be said and the boys took in on board.
“It was a discussion. It wasn’t just the gaffer hammering the boys. There’s a lot of experienced boys in the changing room and there were also questions asked by the coaching staff as to if there was anything that could be better.
“You could put it to a number of things but I think it was just one of those freak nights and the quicker we put it to bed the better, and we move on again.”