Falkirk midfielder Blair Alston insists the Bairns will fear no-one in the play-off semi-final – especially when they will have recharged their batteries during a nine-day break.
Peter Houston’s side will face the winners of the quarter-final battle between Hibs and Raith Rovers after sealing a Championship runners-up place on Sunday with victory over Morton on the final day of the league campaign.
Falkirk now have plenty of time to prepare for the promotion deciders – with the first leg not taking place until next Tuesday – and Alston insists they will head into the tie brimming with confidence.
He said: “Raith have finished the season well and Hibs are always going to be a good team but I’d say we’ll go into it without any fear, and they’ll have had the two games before where they’ve slogged it out.
“The break can work in both ways. Ahead of the Scottish Cup final (against Inverness) last year, although we ended up losing it, we were quite fresh going into it and Inverness probably weren’t. And in the last 20 minutes we were the better team, we felt good.
“You see Hibs just now, they’re playing so many games that they’re maybe struggling to get bodies on the pitch and boys are picking up knocks.
“For us, second place is a bonus, that’s where you want to be so we’ll take the week off with boys getting rest and getting back to full fitness, and then get ready for the next game.
“Fingers-crossed, hopefully we can get a good result in the semi-final.”
Falkirk handled the pressure of Sunday’s match against Morton well after heading into the clash knowing anything less than a victory would probably not have been enough to seal second.
Alston, whose future at the club remains unclear with his contract about to expire, hopes they can remain calm during the play-offs.
He added: “It could have been easy for us to get nervous but we played good football like we have done all year.
“Up until the goal we played as well as we’ve played all season, it shows what we can do under pressure and hopefully that stands us in good stead for the play-off games.
“To finish second shows what an achievement it is for the club to do that. To do it on the last day was brilliant.”
Falkirk captain David McCracken, meanwhile, admits the nine-day break could prove crucial after recalling how the Bairns came through a punishing quarter-final against Queen of the South two years ago, only to be beaten by Hamilton.
He said: “We saw it a couple of years ago when we had to go straight into the play-offs and it did take a lot of the boys in the two games against Queen of the South, before then having to go into the next round.
“We know that’s massive and mentally as well it gives you a little break. We’ll come back, do a bit of work and be focussed for it.”