Bairns set for Somerset visit in Irn Bru Cup

FRIDAY night fever will hit Somerset Park when Ayr United take on Falkirk in the Fourth Round of the Irn Bru Cup.

With Scotland facing Lithuania at Hampden Park on Saturday evening, both clubs swiftly moved their match forward a day in order to try to maximise the potential crowd and income from their fixture.

Somerset Park holds fond memories for Falkirk manager, Peter Houston, who is looking forward to visiting the old fashioned ground for the first time this season. He explained: “We know that going down to Somerset Park will be very difficult. They’ll fancy their chances given how they played us last time out and the home crowd will be behind them.

“It’s a wee bit like old Brockville when you get two or three thousand in there so I hope we get a good crowd.

“The fact the game is on Friday should help and I know the two clubs have reduced the prices, but it’s up to the punters whether they take the importance on.”

The Bairns sit with a record four Challenge Cup competition wins and despite the admission that he will change his team around slightly, the Falkirk manager will be putting out what he feels is still a strong enough side to progress.

He said:“I will probably make changes for Friday, not that I am disrespecting the tournament, but my plan is to give one or two some game time. It gives me the chance to rest some who have had a lot of 90 minutes recently.

“The guys I put in are every bit as strong in my opinion. We hope that because we have strengthened the squad as a whole it doesn’t weaken the team, but it’s only as strong a team if the players go out and do it.”

Both Ian McCall and Peter Houston have faced off against each other in the league recently with Houston well aware of just how good his opposite number has done in not just getting his team promoted, but building a squad who are holding their own in a highly competitive second tier.

He added: “Ian McCall has done a great job down there. He’s an ex-Falkirk player so I have known him for a long time and have great respect for him.

“He’s done well with limited resources. We can learn from how they managed to contain us for long spells last week and we are well aware that they beat Hibs at Easter Road too.We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can get the result.”

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