BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
PAUL HARTLEY has assured Rory Loy that he will be a pivotal part of his plans at Falkirk after denying the pair had a bust-up at Dundee.
Loy, 29, was signed for the Dens Park outfit by Hartley in the summer of 2015 and, despite a bright start to his career in Tayside, the striker soon fell out of favour behind deadly duo Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart.
He was farmed out on loan to St Mirren for the tail end of last term in search of first-team football before joining the Bairns on a permanent basis in the close season. However, Hartley is adamant there will be no hard feelings and believes he can help Loy – yet to find the net in his second spell with the club – hit 20 goals this term.
He said: “There has never been a fallout between me and Rory, we had a good chat when I came in on Monday.
“Rory had a very good start to his time at Dundee and then picked up an injury. With the form of Kane Hemmings and Greg [Stewart] at the time, it was hard to get him back in. He just wanted to get out and play games, which I understand.
“This haven’t quite happened for Rory at Falkirk this time round but, make no mistake, we have got a good player there. We just need to get the best out of him.
“He has scored a lot of goals at this level and that is something that we need. In the Championship, I think it is important to have striker that can hit 20-plus. You are only as good as your strikers at times.
“The last couple of games have been good – clean sheets – but now we need to look at the other end of the pitch, where we have not scored enough goals. We have a big, talented squad and have plenty of options and ability.”
Hartley, who watched the Bairns 2-0 win over Dunfermline from the stands on Saturday, also reserved praise for young Kevin O’Hara, who ran the Pars ragged at times.
O’Hara, 19, burst on to the scene two seasons ago with delightful displays against Rangers and His but has struggled to recapture that early promise. However, Hartley has no doubt he is working with something special.
He added: “I thought he was outstanding on Saturday. He has impressed me and I have already spoken to him about the next stage for him – how do you get yourself in the box to score goals?
“He did a lot of good work, but much of it was not in central areas. We’ve worked on finishing and I think he’s a real talent.”