Ex-Partick Thistle attacker James Craigen flourishing at Falkirk after becoming more of a team player

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PETER Houston is thrilled to see James Craigen finally come good at Falkirk after admitting the summer signing needed to become more of a team player.

The former Partick Thistle attacker joined the Bairns at the end of last season after penning a pre-contract agreement to make the switch from Raith Rovers.

The 25-year-old will have been frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities this term but has started the last three league games and has scored in the last two.

His performances and back-to-back goals against Dundee United and Morton will ensure he retains his place for the visit of Dumbarton on Saturday.

And Houston has praised the former Edinburgh University student for learning his lesson at Falkirk.

He said: “James’ performances recently have been very good because he’s stuck to the game-plan we’re looking to implement.

“He’s playing as a team player, rather than an individual, and we’re better when all our players are playing as a team.

“I think that’s been recognisable over the last few weeks, and James has been a part of it.

“The switch has come on. It’s taken him a bit longer to get that regular place but he’s done well.

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“Credit to him and I’m pleased for him. When you bring in a player you always want him to do well and I always thought he had the capabilities.

“We had regular chats, him and I, in a positive fashion, to tell him he had to work on this side of it and on that side of it, and graft for the team and not just for himself.

“He’s learned that and he’s pushed on now.”

Houston hailed Craigen’s goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Morton as a contender for goal of the season after the Englishman fired into the top corner off the underside of the bar.

And the Bairns boss has urged the British Universities cap to maintain his high standards in the coming weeks and months.

Houston added: “I’m pleased. He’s still a young guy, with good pace, good legs and good ability, and that was the reason he was asked to come here.

“I thought he would have been a first-team regular by now and it’s up to him to keep it that way.”

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