DAVID McCracken hopes that a straitjacket and a pink tutu can help Falkirk enjoy a festive revival.
The Bairns were left gutted by last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Queen of the South that left them eight points behind joint Championship leaders Hibs and Dundee United.
A frank discussion followed as manager Peter Houston impressed upon his squad that their form must improve if they are to put together a promotion challenge this term.
It was not the best send-off for the players’ annual Christmas night out but McCracken believes the get-together could have been just what they needed to lift the spirits ahead of a crucial run of games.
After today’s trip to Dumbarton, they face Dunfermline, Hibs and Raith in quick succession and the sequence could help define their campaign.
And the Falkirk skipper hopes the team bonding over their embarrassing fancy dress choices in Dublin last weekend could help get them ready for a key period.
He said: “After the game, it felt like a defeat, especially because there were a few words said.
“But there’s never really a bad time to have a night out!
“It was good for all the boys to be together and it’s a massive bonding exercise. It’s the one time of the year where we can let it go a wee bit and enjoy ourselves.
“It’s done now and we’re straight back into it and hopefully we can reap the rewards from it.
“Everybody participates in the fancy dress and stuff like that, which I think is crucial for the squad.
“What we do is we pick somebody out of the hat that we need to get an outfit for and then you pick a letter from the alphabet for that outfit.
“I got Craig Sibbald and the letter was S – so I got him a straitjacket!
“He was getting dog’s abuse for a while. He couldn’t do anything, he was just there tied up.
“I was in a tutu! Mark Kerr chose that for me, but it was absolutely fine.
“It all helps. It brings you closer and you find out more about each other.”
Falkirk are unbeaten in their last five matches and won their previous two games before last weekend’s draw with Queens.
But McCracken admits the Bairns are aware their display was not up to scratch.
He added: “It’s not the kind of form you want to be having through a game, never mind the season, and it was something the gaffer was quick to point out.
“In the past couple of weeks there’s been things he’s not been happy with and it came to a head a wee bit. We’ll look to eradicate that on Saturday.
“It’s because of the standards we have set. They need to be very high if you want to achieve anything.”