By Calum Fisher
PETER Houston says his players must realise how important Saturday’s derby with Dunfermline is to his team’s supporters.
Falkirk face rivals Dunfermline on Saturday in the first meeting of the two sides this season.
The game sees third placed Bairns take on a Pars side that has so far struggled to adjust to life in the Championship, having gained promotion from League One last season.
It is the first time the two rivals have faced off since their August 2013 Challenge Cup clash at East End Park, where Falkirk came away on top winning the game 2-1.
“We have to be ready for it” said Houston, “that’s the only thing I’ll need to say to the players is to make sure they know how important this game is to the supporters.”
Saturday’s game provides Falkirk with the perfect chance to bounce back after Friday night’s disappointing Irn-Bru Cup defeat to Ayr United at Somerset Park.
“At the end of the day, I’m not making any excuses. Ayr United are a good side”, said the Falkirk boss.
He added, “I felt like we could have won the cup tie but we move on and we can’t let it affect us.”
The game also takes on special meaning for Falkirk midfielder Craig Sibbald, who (as a Falkirk supporter) knows exactly what the derby means to the fans of the club.
“I’m from Falkirk and I’ve been to a few games so I know how big the rivalry is and how much a win would mean to the fans.”
The Bairns are currently four points behind league leaders Queen of the South and only three behind second placed Hibernian, whereas rivals Dunfermline sit in eighth place in the Championship table after a patchy start to the season.