Houston challenges striker to earn his place back

Nathan austin was dropped from Peter Houston's matchday squad
Nathan austin was dropped from Peter Houston's matchday squad

Nathan Austin’s omission from Falkirk’s matchday squad on Saturday was a surprise to some.

The striker has impressed fans since his full-time switch from East Fife this summer but he missed out on a starting place and a seat on the bench for the 1-0 win over Dumbarton.

Scott Shepherd (left) has impressed Peter Houston. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Scott Shepherd (left) has impressed Peter Houston. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Peter Houston elected for Scott Shepherd and Lee Miller as his substitue attackers over Austin and explained Shepherd’s perfromances in training and a bounce game on Tuesday earned his place.

The Bairns boss said it was now up to Austin, who was the League Two top scorer last season with 22 goals, to earn his re-selection.

“I had one place left, and I felt Scotty had earned it over the past few weeks, so Nathan has to learn now that he’s full-time and has to do a wee bit more now.

“No doubt he’ll chap my door about it and I’ll tell him what I’m saying here, that after Scotty Shepherd’s performances I’d have been disappointed had that been my laddie missing out for Nathan.

Nathan Austin featured at Morton. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Nathan Austin featured at Morton. Pic by Michael Gillen.

“We played a bounce game here against Queen of the South and I thought Shepherd was outstanding. I was watching the game from up the stairs and he gave me the spark, and anyone that can do that I’ll give them the chance... although he didn’t get off the bench.

“I thought Scott deserved his place before Nathan and he needs to get in tune by making sure he works hard, or harder than Scotty Shepherd to make sure he gets back in.”