PETER Houston has urged experienced pair John Rankin and Lee Miller to bide their time after admitting there will be frustration within his Falkirk squad.
Houston has restricted Rankin and Miller, as well as the likes of James Craigen and Paul Watson, to places on the bench in recent weeks and accepts they will be disappointed.
Miller came off the bench to strike late in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Dundee United, whilst Rankin also came on against his old team.
But Houston insists the players currently on the fringes of his preferred selection will still have a big role to play in future.
He said: “It must be frustrating for Lee Miller, for James Craigen and for the likes of John Rankin as well. Those guys are not in the team but the team’s winning.
“It’s very, very difficult to leave out one of the guys who have been in the starting XI. Quite frankly, that’s why you’ve got a squad and the boys will need to be patient.
“But they’re making impacts when they’ve come on and their time will come.
“I always say to the players that it’s not me that drops them, they drop themselves because they dip below the high standards they’ve set.
“The difference between now and a couple of years ago is we have people of similar ilk capable of going into the team if the other ones aren’t performing.
“We didn’t have that two years ago, but we have now and that’s shown with the strength on the bench.”
Falkirk will aim to make it 12 points from the last dozen available when they host Ayr United on Saturday but Houston admits the Honest Men’s shock 2-1 victory over Hibernian last weekend proves the size of the task in hand.
He added: “If I needed to warn my players about Ayr United, I don’t need to do it so much following their result against Hibs last Saturday.
“By all accounts, Hibs had a lot of the possession and should have been further ahead, but that tells you a lot about Ayr and I think it comes from Ian McCall.
“He’s an experienced guy, a good manager and a good guy. I know him very well and he’ll have his team organised. They clearly have a great attitude – to go to Easter Road and win is not easy, trust me.”