Old colleagues re-united as Dundee visit Falkirk

Gary Holt is hoping for a big home support at The Falkirk Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Lisa McPhillips
Gary Holt is hoping for a big home support at The Falkirk Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Lisa McPhillips

Gary Holt will link up with his former player when Dundee visit Falkirk tomorrow.

The Dark Blues signed Stephen Hughes from East Fife when the transfer window opened along with ex-Hearts man Christian Nade.

11/01/14 SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE'RANGERS V EAST FIFE'IBROX - GLASGOW'East Fife's Stephen Hughes (left) challenges Dean Shiels.

11/01/14 SCOTTISH LEAGUE ONE'RANGERS V EAST FIFE'IBROX - GLASGOW'East Fife's Stephen Hughes (left) challenges Dean Shiels.

Holt know Hughes from time they shared at Norwich City.

“I coached Stephen a little bit when we were both at Norwich so I know what he is capable of.

“Dundee are in a good position where they can bring players like him in.

“It will be a test for us, no doubt about it, but one we are capable of standing up to.”

As he said in this week’s edition of The Falkirk Herald, the Bairns boss knows the positive effect that a big crowd can have on the team and he’s urged the Falkirk faithful to get behind the players in the match which could send them top of the league.

“It’ll be an interesting game, hopefully more entertaining than the previous two at the Stadium.

“Some teams have come here for a point and paid a lot of respect to us because this is a hard place to visit, and they’ve been happy with that point.

“We’re no mugs we know Dundee won’t just turn up and allow us to play our game and win.

“Knowing them as I do, and knowing their manager, I don’t think they’ll come looking for a point. They’re a team with good attacking options and I believe if they come and do that it’ll be an entertaining game. I don’t think John Brown will settle for a point.”

There has been a lack of goals in the past few games at Westfield with scoreless draws with Alloa and Hamilton and the Bairns have been working on ways to carve defensive teams open, but they’ve also honed their own defence and have gone on a run of clean sheets since Greig Spence scored for Raith Rovers in the 73rd minute of a game back in early December. Michael McGovern has not conceded in the 467 minutes since - something which has come as a bit of a surprise to the Bairns boss.

“It’s not something I’ve been pushing for I must say, but I’m certainly happy with it. It just happened.

“My style and philosophy is attacking, clean sheets are brilliant but they don’t win you games, goals do. I’d rather be winning games 5-4 than keeping clean sheets because we’re winning in that case.

“We defend as a team, and defend from the front, with Rory (Loy) and Phil (Roberts) closing down high up the park.

“Defensive records and statistics is not something I get too bothered with, so long as we are winning.”

The present run is the fifth in the club’s all-time record. Alex Totten’s side in 1999-2000 had a period of 623 minutes without conceding while John Hagart in 1979-80 also went over 600 minutes.

The Bairns may have David McCracken back in the selection pool after the centre-half was twice replaced around half-time in games against Hamilton and Livingston and missed last week’s victory over Cowdenbeath. The defender returned to running this week and has seen a specialist for hsi back and hips alignment to try and iron out the problems.

“One of the problems is David didn’t have a pre-season so he is always playing catch-up,” explained Holt.

Blair Alston also has a knock but should be fit to play if selected.

Bread company Hovis will be helping raise cash for McMillan cancer support before kick-off and handing out loaves at the end of the game.