MARATHON MARCH FOR BAIRNS

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FALKIRK face a marathon March with eight games scheduled that will make or break the season next month.

With such a hectic schedule Steven Pressley says it’s time for every member of his squad to come to the fore and battle for a place in the SPL and that includes Tam McManus.

The injured striker was set for a role on the bench on Saturday before the late cancellation at Firhill and is in the plans for this weekend.

“Tam McManus was in contention to be involved on the bench on Saturday, and he’s improved by the day.

“We’ve been unable to run any bounce games due to the lack of numbers and our younger teams having a hectic schedule, so we can’t get a second string team together to play games but Tam is getting sharper on the trianing ground.

“We might be calling for a penalty box striker, and we have eight games in March so we need the whole squad to play a part, it’s a demanding month.”

The mega-month starts on Tuesday with a visit to Morton, but first the Bairns round off yet another disrupted one at home to Cowdenbeath on Saturday.

The match sees Pressley come up against his former Scotland team-mate Stevie Crawford, and ex-Hearts Colin Cameron.

“Stevie is a player I have a real rapport with,” said Pressley, “and he’s in the club often to talk to myself and Alex Smith.

“But that’ll be put to one side for the 90 minutes, though we will meet up for a coffee after the game.”

Jack Compton is back in the fold after his calf problem cleared up. Only Mark Millar is certain to be missing through suspension.

“It’s a game we know we have to win, and if we’re to achieve our goals this season, a home game to Cowdenbeath is one that we must, absolutely, be looking to win.

“It’s a big Saturday again but the players have stood up to adversity recently, and I’m proud of them and have confidence in them.”

But just as every squad member of Pressley’s team is required so too, he says, are the fans.

He’ll meet them face-to-face at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at a fans’ forum in Amarillo, alongside his management team plus George Craig and Martin Ritchie.

“I’m looking forward to the night as it gives me the chance to lay down the strategy of the club going forward.

“The supporters are a vital part of that and its important they’re informed of how the club has to move forward with long-term strategy and short-term goals.

“I think the supporters are most important and they need to get behind the club and what we’re wanting to achieve but they can put their opinions forward too.”

Victory on Saturday increases in importance after midweek results put the Bairns right back in the title hunt without kicking a ball.

Falkirk and Dunfermline can both draw level with leaders Raith Rovers if they win their games in hand.

Rovers lost to Dundee and the Pars were goalless in Dingwall on Tuesday. Queen of the South also lost ground.