BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Skipper David McCracken has hailed Falkirk’s mental strength after Saturday’s stunning victory over Rangers.
The Bairns blew the Championship race wide open with the 2-1 win that hauled them to within six points of their opponents and allowed Hibernian to go level with the Ibrox side at the top of the table.
Peter Houston’s men have only been beaten twice this season and have been tipped to make it a three-way battle for the title after the weekend’s result.
They had to withstand a late onslaught from Rangers, including Martyn Waghorn’s missed penalty in injury-time, and McCracken believes their psychological work with life coach Connie McLaughlin of Your Inner Buzz is played a significant role in their success.
He said: “It was a really, really good performance overall – really good defensively and really good going forward.
“It’s just the way we’ve been playing.
“The confidence in the squad is second to none, and the togetherness.
“We’ve been working on stuff outside the football side of things, on our mental state, which I think is of massive benefit to us.
“I think that showed on Saturday, especially when Rangers got back in the game because it didn’t seem to affect us that much.
“There’s been a group of us working on mindfulness and self-confidence, and stuff like that, and that’s definitely progressing through the squad.
“The group that’s doing it is seeping that through to the rest of the boys and it’s definitely coming through in the performances.”
Meanwhile, McCracken has been stunned by the impact made by teenage striker Kevin O’Hara.
The 17-year-old made an impressive first start in the recent 1-1 draw with Hibernian at Easter Road and again turned in an accomplished display in his second start against Rangers at the weekend.
The youngster was denied a maiden first-team goal when John Baird knocked his net-bound shot in from an offside position and when Rangers keeper Wes Foderingham made two excellent second-half saves.
McCracken told Falkirk TV: “Wee Kevin O’Hara? Where do you start!
“In the past two performances, the maturity he’s shown has been unreal.
“He’s come in just like a natural player, as if he’s been playing for a few years.
“It’s great to see and it’s all credit to the club.”