BY ALISTAIR FELL – @CCP_sport
Falkirk striker Bob McHugh admits he is ‘delighted to be back playing’ after enduring a tough couple of months on the sidelines.
The 24-year-old suffered an injury to his right ankle ligaments whilst playing in the 5-3 defeat to Peterhead in an incredible Petrofac Training Cup tie in August.
In what was already a frustrating period for McHugh, he then faced another setback when he damaged his left ankle ligaments just days before his return from the initial injury.
McHugh commented: “I did both my ankle ligaments. I did my right ones against Peterhead early in the game and I got through to half-time but I was feeling it.
“But just before I was due to get back from my right ankle I managed to do my left during rehab training.
“It was devastating. The first one was hard enough to take, but to wait three or four weeks and then to get back to the final stages of rehab to then just roll my other ankle was really frustrating.
Having made an impressive start to the season, the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the former Motherwell player and standout performances and results from his team-mates meant he had to work hard to reinstate his position in the starting XI.
“It is a frustrating time when you are injured and you have to wait to get back because the team are doing well as well,” he added.
“The boys have been great. You’re sitting up in the stands frustrated but the boys have been picking up points and that’s the main thing. We are playing well at times as well.
“So, I knew when I got back I would have to work hard to get back into the team. I just need to look after myself and try and make sure I am in the team every week.”
With Falkirk chasing a promotion play-off spot this season, McHugh has reiterated how vital it is that the team stays injury-free and how important their strike force is.
Bairns forward Lee Miller is currently on the injury list, having damaged his calf in the 5-0 drubbing of Dumbarton, an injury that helped McHugh win his place back.
“I had to wait for my turn and, unfortunately for big Lee, it came when he took a knock.
“The three of us are going to be needed this season, whether it is me and John Baird or me and Lee or the other two will all be needed, so we’re going to have to work together this season.
“The three of us are good together anyway and we all enjoy playing with each other, so there is no favourite partnership there.”
With The Bairns now sitting third in the Championship table on the back of a narrow 2-1 victory over close rivals Raith, there is an opportunity this weekend to close the gap with Hibs to just one point as the Easter Road side have no game because of international duties.
McHugh however, admits that there is still a long way to go in the campaign and the Bairns will not be getting too excited if they do manage to reduce the deficit.
“I don’t think it’s something we are too bothered about,” he concluded. “Obviously if we get three points, the table will look better and it will put pressure on them.
“But it’s not something we are worried about, we are just looking after ourselves.
“Everybody has been raving about Hibs’ and Rangers’ starts to the season but they are not away from us yet; we’re still there or thereabouts and we’ve been unlucky in the games we’ve played against them.
“If we can get that bit of luck the next time we play them then we won’t be far away.
“Within the dressing room we think we are more than capable of finishing third, so that’s the aim.”