PETER Houston will enjoy a trip down memory lane this evening (Friday) after admitting Falkirk’s visit to face Ayr United Somerset Park will spark recollections of happy days at the Bairns’ beloved Brockville.
Houston, who was yesterday named Championship manager of the month for September, is relishing tonight’s IRN-BRU Cup tie as his side seek to extend an impressive sequence of five wins and a draw from their last six matches.
The former Scotland assistant, who had two spells as a player with Falkirk before beginning his coaching career at the club, reckons the Honest Men’s home turf is a throwback to the cherished Brockville stadium the Bairns left behind in 2003.
He said: “I think Somerset is a great ground. It’s a wee bit like the old Brockville, where if there’s even two or three thousand in you get a great atmosphere.
“I hope there is a good crowd, because it’s a Friday night. The Scotland game being the next day might help it and it’s a ground the Falkirk fans won’t have been to for a few years.
“It’s always good to see people packing out the wee bits of terracing behind the goals. I think it’s great, because you get some great banter as well.
“I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can get a win.”
Ayr made it tough for Falkirk in the league just a fortnight ago before the Bairns prevailed with two goals in the final 12 minutes in a 2-0 win, and Houston expects another difficult encounter against Ian McCall’s side.
Houston, who will have Deniz Mehmet in goals in place of Danny Rogers, who is currently on duty with the Republic of Ireland, added: “Ian McCall has done a fantastic job down there. He’s an ex-Falkirk player and I’ve known him for a long time, and I think he’s done well with not great resources.
“The lesson for us is we know what they did against us in the league and they beat Hibs at Easter Road. So, we know for a fact that going to Somerset will be really difficult.
“After their performance the last time they played us they’ll fancy their chances, but we see that as a challenge.”
Houston, meanwhile, has praised his players for recovering from a stuttering start to the season that saw them earn a draw and two defeats from their first three outings.
“All of a sudden you say to yourself ‘wait a minute, we have got one point out of nine’,” he went on. “That was not what we expected, so I had a talk with the boys.
“It was just stripping it all back, getting the players to be harder to play against because of the success they brought to the club last season.
“We need to do that every single week. And to their credit I have a terrific bunch of players and I don’t need to blast them a lot.”