Falkirk V Kilmarnock at Falkirk Stadium : Match Preview

By
18 May 2016
Falkirk V Kilmarnock - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Same squad for Falkirk

Falkirk have named the same squad that knocked Hibernian out at the semi-final stage for the first leg of their play-off final against Kilmarnock.

Only long-term absentees Peter Grant (knee) and Connor McGrandles (broken leg) are sidelined.

Manager Peter Houston said: "Our players have worked hard all season to get us into this position and we will need to keep working hard if we are to defeat Kilmarnock. Our standards were high against Hibs and we will need to hit those standards again."

"If we play with the same tempo we played at in the semi-finals then we have the opportunity to put ourselves into a good position ahead of the second leg."

Houston believes his young players can cope with playing in front of big crowds having faced the likes of Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in the Championship over the past two seasons, as well as just falling short against Inverness in last season's William Scottish Cup final.

And he added: "It's the talk of the dressing room seeing the queues outside, and it's only natural.

"But the great thing for us on Friday, for the first time since I came back, we had this main stand and the south stand full of Falkirk fans. Normally when Hearts, Hibs and Rangers came in the past they took half the main stand.

"The club made sure they kept two stands for Falkirk fans and it's the same this Thursday, and I felt we had to make sure we started the game well so they got on side. And I think we certainly did that and right away the backing was tremendous, and hopefully it's the same in these two games."

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald is a great fan of the play-offs but wishes he was watching the Ladbrokes Premiership final from the comfort of his home.

"The games are exciting, just as exciting as a cup final I suppose with both teams desperate to win," the 30-year-old told Press Association Sport.

"I even watched a wee bit of the Ayr versus Stranraer (Championship) play-off game on Sunday on television and it was exciting enough.

"It was great for Ayr to get promoted and unfortunate for Stranraer but it does bring a level of excitement to the game.

"It would be a lot better if I was sitting watching it this week rather than being involved in it but we are where we are.

"There were times this season when there was probably talk of straight relegation so you could take this as a bonus and be thankful that it is in our own hands that we can stay up.

"We always had that hope that we could avoid them altogether but we knew we had to rely on others but now it is all about us and focusing on us."


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