BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Peter Houston reckons Falkirk’s clash with Rangers will have the atmosphere of an Old Firm match as he returns to Ibrox for the first time since copping a one-match ban on his last visit.
The Bairns gaffer is sure to receive a hostile reception this afternoon after his furious outburst during their 3-1 defeat in Govan in October.
Houston was seething that, with the score delicately balanced at 1-1, Rangers were awarded a contentious free-kick by referee John McKendrick which James Tavernier duly dispatched.
And he subsequently received a touchline ban for ‘criticising the decisions and performance of the match officials in such a way as to indicate bias and incompetence on their part’.
Houston is adamant that is water under the bridge – declaring “don’t look back in anger” – but he fully expects a raucous encounter in Glasgow.
He said: “I try not to look back because it doesn’t do you any good, it won’t do me any favours to take a strop because we didn’t get a foul. I’ve served my punishment.
“What is it you say…’don’t look back in anger’? Last time is done and dusted, it won’t even be mentioned. What will be mentioned is the last game when we beat them 2-1 at the Falkirk Stadium.
“We’re going to go to Ibrox and it will be full, there will be a tremendous atmosphere.
“I was at the Hibs game there recently and the noise was incredible, I expect it to be the same again because their fans see Falkirk as a team that has been up there. They’ll see it as a similar type game to Hibs.
“It’s a Championship game but the atmosphere will be like a game at the top of the Premiership. It will be like a Celtic-Rangers game. It will be electric.”
Meanwhile, Houston has described Andy Halliday’s dismissal against Morton, which will see him miss this afternoon’s clash, as “nonsense”.
The Gers midfielder was contentious shown a second yellow card for raising a fist in celebration in the general direction of the home fans at Cappielow.
Houston added: “I was actually down there doing radio and I never saw it in real time but, by all accounts, it was a nonsense. It’s wrong if you can’t even celebrate a goal.
“I’m against players getting into trouble unless it is something like players running right up to the opposition fans.
“I remember in the distant past at Hearts, Phil Stamp getting sent off for jumping in with the Hearts fans after scoring with the last kick of the ball at Easter Road.
“I have always been against that – even if it is a player scoring against my team. It’s part of football.”