Ex-Partick Thistle & Kilmarnock defender already in line for new Falkirk deal insists manager Peter Houston

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PETER HOUSTON insists Conrad Balatoni is already in line for an extended deal at Falkirk after impressing in just three games with the club.

The former Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock defender penned only a short-term agreement, through to the January transfer window, when he joined last month.

Out of contract after leaving Ayr United in the summer, Houston admits the Bairns were keen to ensure the 26-year-old could provide the solidity they were seeking in their rearguard before committing in the long-term.

(PIc: Gordon Whyte @geewho59)

And, with the former Hearts trainee forming a good partnership with fellow new recruit Jordan McGhee, Houston now expects talks over fresh terms before too long.

He said: “If Conrad continues doing what he’s doing, his contract will be extended, there’s no doubts about that.

“But we hadn’t seen Conrad for a wee while and sometimes you cover your own options.

“It can work for you and it can work against you. He could do magnificently between now and January and walk away for something better.

“But the way he’s started has been great. He does what experienced centre-backs do – he organises, he’s aggressive and he wins the ball in the air, and he positions himself really well; he might not be rapid quick, but he doesn’t get caught for pace.”

Falkirk went a sixth league game without victory when they battled to a goalless draw with Dundee United at the weekend, but Houston saw reason for optimism in an improved performance.

And the Bairns boss has also received good news on the injury front, with midfielder Tom Taiwo back available after missing Saturday with a leg wound and attacker Myles Hippolyte stepping up his comeback from the thigh injury that has kept him sidelined for a month.

Houston added: “Myles is back running and is wanting to start training again. He’s getting closer but he’s a couple of weeks away.

“But once the torn muscle in his thigh has repaired hopefully his fitness means we’ll be able to get him back in the team quicker, because we’ve missed him.”

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