BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Peter Houston has revealed Falkirk will be without first-choice goalkeeper Danny Rogers against Fraserburgh this weekend – at the request of Aberdeen.
The promising 21-year-old is currently on loan from the Dons and has been a stand-out performer for Houston’s side, making 19 appearances as well as establishing himself as Ireland’s number one at under-21 level.
However, Aberdeen are unwilling to allow Rogers to become cup-tied for the later rounds of the Scottish Cup in case they are forced to activate the recall clause in the young keeper’s season-long loan.
With Danny Ward only on loan at Pittodrie from Liverpool and doubts over the future of back-up stopper Scott Brown, manager Derek McInnes has chosen to err on the side of caution.
However, Houston remains confident Rogers will remain a Falkirk player for the rest of the season.
He said: “We’re going to be without Danny Rogers after I spoke to Derek [McInnes] during the week.
“He has a loan keeper, Danny Ward, and has Scott Brown, but Liverpool haven’t officially said they can keep Ward. Derek says he is 90 per cent hopeful, but it’s not concrete yet.
“There might be some interest in Scott Brown from England, too, because he will want to be a number one.
“Derek can’t take the risk to allow Danny Rogers to play this weekend and leave himself short, and I understand that.
“If we get through, then we will revisit the conversation and, depending on the goalkeeping situation at Aberdeen, he may be available for the next round.
“I’m not nervous about the situation yet, because I know Derek really wants Danny Rogers to remain at Falkirk. He wants the boy playing first-team football.”
Rogers’ unavailability will necessitate a debut for 23-year-old Alex Tokarczyk, who joined the club last month.
The Bairns boss continued: “It’s not a bad fixture for big Alex [Tokarczyk] to come in for. He has looked good in training and has played well for the development team.
“However, it is a different challenge and I want to see him play in a game when the result really counts. And hopefully, if we play to our capabilities, he won’t have too much to do.”
Meanwhile, Houston insists Fraserburgh will not be an unknown quantity after he personally made a trip to the Highlands to run the rule over Mark Cowie’s men.
The former Dundee United boss said: “We’ve done our homework. I went up to watch them in a 3-3 draw against Cove Rangers last week. It was a long journey north but, when we face a team I know nothing about, I like to see them myself.
“They are a mixture of young boys and very experienced pros, with a left-back who has a fantastic delivery – their there goals came from set-pieces. So, Fraserburgh will pose a challenge.
“We’ve been knocked out of the Petrofac Cup by Peterhead this season, we have learned from that, and I want us to make sure we are professional and not on the end of another shock.”