BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Peter Houston has heaped praise on his players as Falkirk seek to haul themselves to within just three points of opponents Hibs tomorrow.
The Easter Road hosts are currently on a run of 14 wins in 15 unbeaten matches but Falkirk have themselves racked up five victories in their last six outings and have only lost to Hibs and Rangers in the league this season.
Houston believes the Bairns deserve great credit for keeping on the coattails of the two title challengers above them.
And the former Scotland number two believes his own squad have already proven their quality and resilience as they bid to close the gap to Hibs in second spot.
He said: “I’ve been delighted with our players. We are where I was wanting to be, if we’re being honest with ourselves because of the resources Rangers and Hibs have both got.
“For us to be still within sight of them is nice, because Hearts last season were out of sight of every team.
“I’m not going to turn round and say we’re going to go on and win the championship.
“But I’ve got to give our players all the credit in the world.
“We’ve lost two matches this season and they were both against Hibs and Rangers, teams who on paper should be able to beat Falkirk, with the resources and budgets they’ve got and the size of their squads compared to us.
“All the credit for that goes to my players, they’ve been a credit to the club, and we’ve been unlucky in the two games we have lost.
“I think both Hibs and Rangers might have thought they would have been out of sight of third place, but if we were to win on Saturday we would only be three points behind Hibs.”
Hibs emerged triumphant in the rearranged meeting of the teams back in October but in hugely controversial circumstances.
Falkirk were angered by referee Alan Muir’s decision to award a penalty against Blair Alston when John McGinn went to ground in the box.
However, Houston insists the Bairns will not go into tomorrow’s game harbouring a sense of injustice.
He added: “I said at the time I didn’t think it was a penalty kick, but that’s not a grievance towards Hibs.
“I’ve got to give credit to Hibs because they’re on a magnificent run and they’ve got good players and a good squad. Alan (Stubbs) has got a great squad of players to choose from; they’ve brought in some great quality.
“They’ve very strong all over the pitch and they’re putting a right good push on to try and get into first place.
“We’ll be under pressure at times from Hibs but I’m convinced we have players who can hurt them as well.”