BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
PETER HOUSTON watched his Falkirk side rip apart Raith Rovers to give themselves a five-point cushion in the final Championship playoff place – before setting his sights on former club Dundee United.
The Bairns blew away the cobwebs of recent underwhelming displays to claim a 4-1 win over Gary Locke’s side, with goals from Myles Hippolyte, Bob McHugh and a Craig Sibbald brace cancelling out Chris Johnston’s opener.
The result cements their place in fourth spot, while they are just one point behind Morton. However, the ex-Tannadice gaffer has loftier goals in mind, with eight points between them and United, who succumbed to a heavy 3-0 defeat against Hibernian on Friday night.
“We don’t give up hope of catching Dundee United, we don’t give up hope of achieving better than where we are. There are 16 games left to go in this division, anything can happen.
“The most important thing is: we need to make the playoffs. That is the very least – it would be a disaster if we didn’t achieve that. But why not look above that?
“With the group of players we have, why can’t we get that consistency? We have a group of players who, in my opinion, can win six games on the trot, so although people are talking about how far Raith and Queens are behind us, I’ll be saying that Dundee United aren’t too far above us.
“My prerogative is always to see where we are at the end of January and then set targets, and maybe have an opportunity to match what we did last season [finishing 2nd].”
While Falkirk’s attacking potency will steal the headlines, Houston reserved particular praise for goalkeeper Danny Rogers, who produced a staggering reflex save to claw a Declan McManus header to safety with the score balanced at 2-1.
He continued: “These are pivotal moments in games, and I’ve spoken to Danny about them.
“He hasn’t done badly this season, but good goalkeepers dig you out of a hole when you need it most and, although he has been doing okay, he hadn’t dug us out of a hole yet – like against Rangers last year when he saved the penalty kick in the last minute.
“He had a sensational season last year and hasn’t quite hit that standard yet. On Saturday, I thought he was back to his best. At 2-1, that could have went 2-2 and I have absolutely no idea how he saved that. It was magnificent.
“That shows the potential Danny Rogers has, and that is why he is better here playing, than sitting on the bench at Aberdeen.”