BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Goal hero Bob McHugh insists Falkirk are in second spot on merit after hailing the Bairns’ never-say-die spirit.
Hibs midfielder Fraser Fyvie made waves ahead of the dramatic clash between the sides on Tuesday evening by questioning whether Peter Houston had any ‘big game players’ at his disposal.
The visitors answered that question in scintillating fashion at Easter Road as they fought back with two goals in the dying embers to rescue a 2-2 draw – despite playing the final 15 minutes with just 10 men following Aaron Muirhead’s dismissal.
The phenomenal comeback follows hot on the heels of Blair Alston’s 91st minute winner against St Mirren on Saturday and the remarkable turnaround which saw them defeat champions Rangers despite being 2-0 down at half-time.
And, regardless of what comes out of the Hibees camp, McHugh is adamant Falkirk have proved their bottle plenty of times this season and is determined to finish the job by securing second spot in the Championship.
“The boys all know we are not in second place by accident; it’s not luck,” McHugh hit back. “We deserve to be there and we want to get that [second place] sealed up in the next couple of weeks and then look forward to the playoffs.
“It gives us more momentum. This isn’t the first time we have gone right to the last minute and grabbed a massive result late on. I think everyone is aware now that we have a fantastic spirit in the dressing room. We are not feeling any pressure and are just enjoying playing.
“The boys never thought it was over [against Hibs], although I imagine most of the stadium did and a few of the Hibs boys did. We know the spirit we have and, even at 2-0, we had guys on the pitch saying ‘if we can get a goal, you never know what can happen’.
“The boys are buzzing, it’s been like that for the last couple of weeks with the Rangers and St Mirren games. The end of the season is in sight and we are counting down the games.”
McHugh, whose goal secured the pivotal point when he latched onto a Lee Miller knock-down to bullet a header past Mark Oxley, admits he is enjoying an “unbelievable” run of form.
The former Motherwell striker is thriving as a ‘super-sub’ for the Bairns, climbing from the bench to net against Rangers, St Mirren and the Hibees to help his side open up a six point gap over the capital club.
And he is lapping up every moment after a campaign which has only ignited in fits and starts.
“The way things have gone for me in the last few weeks I always thought I would get a chance,” McHugh told FalkirkTV. “It doesn’t get much better than scoring with a minute to go against Hibs to make it 2-2.
“Big Lee [Miller] has done fantastically to win the header for my goal – takes three or four players towards him – and that gives me the space to sniff for a goal.
“It’s been a stop-start season for me. I started well but picked up three medium-term injuries and it has been frustrating for me. But I’m feeling fully fit now and the last few games have been unbelievable for me.”