FALKIRK manager Peter Houston admits he feels vindicated for sticking by John Baird after the striker netted three times in the last two games.
The Bairns made it 10 points from a possible 12 in the league with Saturday’s 2-0 win over bitter rivals Dunfermline to put their promotion challenge firmly back on track.
Baird has played a huge part in the last two victories, grabbing the opener against the Pars, just a week after netting a double in the 2-1 win over St Mirren.
It ended a nine-game drought stretching back to November for the 31-year-old, who scored 19 times last season and now has nine for the current campaign.
And Houston is adamant he was right to ignore criticism for persisting with the marksman, because he knew the former Raith Rovers and Dundee player would come good.
Houston said: “I was probably getting criticised a wee bit from people because he was staying in the team, but John Baird’s form wasn’t that bad and his overall play wasn’t that bad.
“He wasn’t getting into goal-scoring positions and when he was he was missing them, which isn’t like him.
“But I’ve stuck by him, knowing that there are goals in him. He’s proved that over the last two games.
“I’m delighted he’s got three goals in his last two games, although he’s still trying to claim the second on Saturday!
“That’s Bairdy for you, he hits spells where he does that. He’s a goal-scorer and he’s done that at most clubs he’s been at.
“I’m pleased for him, because the harder you try sometimes the worse it gets.
“But he wasn’t playing particularly badly and that’s why he stayed in the team.”