BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
PETER Houston hopes Hibs have their ‘fingers in too many pies’ as Falkirk battle the cup hopefuls for second spot in the Championship.
The Bairns boss has joked that he is thrilled the Easter Road side face a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay in Inverness next week – just days after Sunday’s League Cup final against Ross County.
Having also had to endure a Scottish Cup replay against Hearts in the previous round, Hibs have had to cope with a gruelling spell in recent weeks.
After three shock defeats to Morton, Dumbarton and Queen of the South in the space of six days, Alan Stubbs’ side relinquished second in the league to Falkirk when the Bairns defeated Alloa last weekend.
Houston’s side now have the opportunity to stretch their advantage in the runners-up spot to five points against Dumbarton tomorrow, whilst Hibs are preparing for their cup double-header.
Houston said: “Hibs have had a fantastic season. They’re preparing for a cup final and they’re in a quarter-final, albeit they’ve got a replay.
“Simply, they had a bad week. I still don’t think anybody can say Hibs have crashed or this, that or the next thing.
“Hibs will win more games than they’ll lose between now and the end of the season, because they’re still a good side, with good quality.
“But I’m delighted Hibs are still in the Scottish Cup – and I hope it goes to extra-time and penalties!
“It’s easy for me to say, but sometimes you can have your finger in too many pies, or however you want to describe it.
“Successful teams have that all the time. Down south, teams like Chelsea or Arsenal are constantly having big games.
“I’m sure that Alan Stubbs will be delighted that they’ve got that, and great credit to them, they’ve had great cup runs.
“But they’ve still got to make sure they focus on second place, if that’s where they want to finish.
“I’m just delighted we’re round about them and we’ve still to play them.”
Meanwhile, Falkirk have announced the signing of 24-year-old Raith Rovers midfielder James Craigen on a pre-contract for next season.
Houston added: “James is a player who I’m really pleased to be able to get signed up for next season.
“I have had numerous good reports on him and have been impressed when I have watched him play in person this season.
“I have spoken in the past about having a large number of this season’s squad signed up for next year and James adds further quality to an already extremely strong looking pool of players.
“I look forward to properly welcoming James to the Falkirk Stadium in the close season.”