Will Cup Win Help Falkirk's Drive For SPL Survival
Updated Monday, 9th March 2009
The two sides at the bottom of the SPL met in the cup and the win may be the psychological boost needed for the bottom club to fight harder.
Falkirk manager John Hughes was pleased to get in to the Scottish Cup semi-finals and even more delighted to see Carl Finnigan top of his performance in a rare start by grabbing the winner in the 1-0 win against Inverness. The former Newcastle striker scored a first-half penalty to book his side a place in the last four of the Homecoming Scottish Cup. With Michael Higdon suspended, Hughes was glad to see Finnigan get on the scoresheet after an injury-plagued season. He said: "I think that is only Carl's third or fourth start of the season as he has really been hampered by injury and illness. He is still finding his feet but the one thing about Carl is he is an honest, hard working boy who puts in a shift." Finnigan is not Falkirk's designated penalty taker. Hughes said: "Carl showed great composure to take the penalty. Scott Arfield is our usual penalty taker but he was missing so we decided that Burton O'Brien or Mark Stewart would take the penalty if we got one. But Carl grabbed the ball and I like players that show the confidence to step up and take it. He showed great responsibility."
Hughes is now hoping the motivation of a place in the starting eleven for a Scottish Cup semi final will help his players up their game a give them the drive to get off the foot of the table. He added: "Hopefully the result will give us a springboard that we can kick-on from. The boys will all be fighting for a place in the team for the semi-final and that can only bode well for the club. It will be a great day out for the fans as well and I'd like to think we can take 10-12,000 supporters down to Hampden."
Disappointed not to build on their midweek win over Rangers, Inverness manager Terry Butcher was impressed with his Scotland colleague Steven Pressley's performance at the heart of the Falkirk defence. Butcher, who is also the Scotland assistant coach, said: "It was his sort of game. We were putting lots of high balls into the box after they went 1-0 up and he defended very well. I thought he had a wonderful game but the fact that he played so well means that we have given everything going forward."
Caley were reduced to 10 men just on the half-hour mark when Lionel Djebi-Zadi fouled Finnigan in the box. The Frenchman was given his marching orders for the challenge and the Falkirk striker stepped up to score what proved to be the winner Butcher said he was pleased with how his side performed in spite of their numerical disadvantage for the majority of the game. He added: "I'm really pleased with the effort commitment the boys showed and there are a lot of positives we can take from the match. It has certainly been quite a week for us. We had a slap in the face against Motherwell last week and then we took an almighty lift by beating Rangers on Wednesday. I wouldn't say today was another slap in the face though - it felt much more like a blow to a lower part of the body!"
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)
This is ScottishFitba Net