PETER Houston insists Falkirk could be facing St Mirren at the wrong time, despite the Buddies currently being without a league win or a manager.
The Paisley outfit are hunting for a new boss following the sacking of Alex Rae almost a fortnight ago.
With a number of possible candidates ruling themselves out of the running, including Billy Davies and Neil Warnock, the Championship strugglers are set to host Falkirk on Saturday with head of youth development Allan McManus in charge of the team.
McManus almost steered St Mirren to success last weekend but a late strike from former Hibs and Falkirk striker Farid El Alagui ensured they succumbed to a 4-3 defeat at Dunfermline.
And, with the Buddies chasing a first league win of the season, Houston is wary of the likely on-field effects of the turmoil off the pitch.
He said: “I don’t know if St Mirren will have a manager in place or not, but it won’t really matter, it will be a tough game.
“It looks like it will be Allan McManus and I know Chalky well from my Hearts days.
“Allan will have them organised and if their new manager is even sitting in the stand watching it will be it tougher because they always get a spark.
“So, we’re probably playing St Mirren at the wrong time.
“We know they’ve got good players and even though things aren’t going that well for them just now they’ve got players in there who can change it.
“But it’s not what they do, it’s about how we go about it, because a manager can’t run onto the pitch and do anything. It’s up to the players on the pitch.”
Houston has again set the quarterly points target that worked so well for his team last season and, with 13 points from their opening seven league games, is hopeful they can surpass it in the coming clashes with St Mirren and Dunfermline.
Confident that 60 points from the campaign is good enough for a play-off spot, the Bairns boss has challenged his players to bag 15 points from each round of fixtures.
Last term they finished in second with 70 points before their promotion bid fell at the final hurdle in the play-off final against Kilmarnock.
And Houston is hoping the quarterly goal pays dividends again.
He added: “I set them the target of 15 points a quarter and we’ve got two games to get two points. If we can go above the 15-point target I set them then good and well.”