Ex-Celtic & Hearts hero Paul Hartley knows bragging rights are at stake for Falkirk in Dunfermline derby

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PAUL HARTLEY has his sights set firmly on the all-important derby bragging rights as he leads Falkirk into battle with Dunfermline for the first time.

The new Bairns boss is no stranger to the rivalries of Scottish football, having played in the Edinburgh derby and the Old Firm version, and managed in the Dundee alternative.

Hartley watched from the stand as veteran Alex Smith signed off from his caretaker spell with a 2-0 victory over an under-strength Dunfermline in the Irn-Bru Cup last month.

Dunfermline won 3-1 when the teams last met in the league back in August

And the 41-year-old, who has managed two draws and a defeat since taking over from Peter Houston, knows this would be the perfect time for him to rack up his first win in charge.

He said: “It’s a big game, a derby game, against a good team, and one that we want to win.

“There’s always a little edge to this game, the fans will come out in their numbers and create a good atmosphere, and we need to make sure we turn up and we perform, because we need the points.

“It’s a game you don’t want to lose. It’s a game the supporters look forward to and they want to have the bragging rights.

“As a player, you should look forward to these games and you shouldn’t need to motivate the players too much.

“It’s like any derby, it’s about the bragging rights. It’s a game the fans see on the calendar and they look forward to.

“I’m looking forward to it, as my first match in this derby, and it’s a game we want to try to perform well in and get the win.”

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