BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Peter Houston has praised Falkirk for the way they have bounced back from their ’embarrassing’ seven-goal mauling from Ross County as they prepare to take on Premiership opposition for a third time this season.
The Bairns head for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie against Dundee with Houston confessing they will exercise caution after learning lessons from their 7-0 defeat to County in September’s League Cup tie.
They had travelled north with confidence after beating Partick Thistle away from home in the previous round but headed home with their tails firmly between their legs following a chastening experience.
Houston admits the match is still preying on his mind as he prepares his team for their trip to Dens Park.
However, he is convinced his players will have learned their lessons from both previous encounters with top-flight opponents.
He said: “We’ve played two Premiership teams this season – we beat Partick Thistle in the League Cup at Firhill and then got hammered at Ross County.
“That game at Ross County is still in my mind. Going to Premiership sides, you have to respect them and make sure you don’t come away with severe beating like we did at Dingwall.
“We’ll be cautious, we’ll prepare properly, we’ll be in Dundee early for a pre-match meal and we’ll give it a go and see what happens.
“The County game still does play on my mind. For 31 minutes it was 0-0 and then it was 3-0 at half-time.
“They made it four shortly after half-time and then you’ve got a team bereft of confidence and by that time you’re just wanting the game finished because you know you’re not going to win it.
“We didn’t defend well, as a team, and we didn’t stop crosses into the box. We got punished.
“It was a poor match from our perspective. We were embarrassed; I was certainly embarrassed by it.
“But the way our boys have come back from that and improved since then, and got so many clean sheets, is great credit to them.”
Houston accepts Dundee will be favourites for the tie, especially after the boost of winning their city derby against Dundee United at the weekend.
However, Falkirk will head for Tayside with optimism given they are currently on an 11-game unbeaten run that includes nine victories.
He added: “We’ll go up there with confidence, because of our recent run of results.
“Them being the home team and the team from the division above makes them favourites. Without being disrespectful to the Championship, they’ll playing against a better standard every single week.
“We could have got an easier tie but they could have got easier ties as well, and that’s why Paul (Hartley), who has watched us twice recently, has done his homework.
“I think it will be a cracking tie and I thought it might have been one of the fixtures chosen for a television game, if I’m being honest.
“We go into it with confidence but also with caution, knowing what happened on our last visit to a Premiership side.”