James McDonaugh happy to welcome Peter Houston back to Falkirk dugout


BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press

James McDonaugh admits he may one day seek a move into frontline management – but he is more than happy to step aside again for Peter Houston’s return to the Falkirk dugout this weekend.

McDonaugh was left in charge of the Bairns for Saturday’s home clash with St Mirren because of a touchline ban picked up by manager Houston following his criticism of ref John McKendrick after last month’s defeat to Rangers.

The Falkirk number two and first-team coach Alan Maybury helped to steer the Championship challengers to an impressive 3-0 victory over the Buddies, prompting some teasing from the players this week about Houston prolonging his absence from pitch-side.

Falkirk crest

However, although McDonaugh, who left his post as youth coach at Hibs to join Falkirk last year, may harbour long-term ambitions of becoming his own man, he is looking forward to passing the limelight back to Houston for Saturday’s trip to face Raith Rovers.

He said: “The boys have been laughing and joking about the manager staying in the stand, but everything was the same last week, apart from his presence in the dugout.

“It was just left to me to go in at two o’clock and tell the boys how I thought St Mirren were going to play and do the team-talk to get the boys up for it. It was just a different face.

“But I’m looking forward to the gaffer being back this weekend. It was good to win and then get him back in, and hopefully then keep winning.

“There were a couple of times at Hibs, when I was just youth coach, that I was probably quite close to stepping in when there were changes in manager, and I always thought ‘I’d quite like to do that, but I wonder about the pressure’.

“But I’m someone who just takes things in their stride. Good or bad, I don’t feel any more nervous or anything, I just go and do what I believe in. Whether it had been 3-0 for us or them, I would have done things the same way and it was lucky we got a win.

“I enjoyed it and maybe one day, who knows?”