Falkirk chief Steven Pressley says he can see improvement coming after a stuttering start to the season.
After three defeats, a draw and a solitary victory over Morton, Falkirk lie third from bottom in the First Division.
But Pressley has a chance to turn that statistic on its head within the next fortnight when two of last season’s promoted teams face the Bairns, beginning with Airdrie United on Saturday.
If those two games were to net the Bairns a maximum of six points, team 2012/13 would be AHEAD of last term’s team by a point at the end of September.
That team, including Tam Scobbie, Farid El Alagui, Kallum Higginbotham, Murray Wallace and Mark Millar went on to win ther Ramsdens Cup and to the semi-final of the Scottish Communities Cup - tournements the Bairns have exited this month.
Since then though, all those key figures have left, and have been replaced by Chris Smith, Jonny Flynn, Andy Haworth, Luke Leahy and Lyle Taylor.
All except the hot-shot striker have taken time to get used to the Bairns way - but Jonny Flynn has taken strides in the past fortnight as did Haworth against Hamitlon on Saturday.
“With the club in the situation we’re in, I can’t bring in ready-made players,” Steven Pressley told The Falkirk Herald. “All these players have aspects of their game which need development and work
“We are doing that, and I am beginning to see progress on the training ground.
“It was the same with the likes of Mark Millar and Higginbotham. They came into the team and then maybe took a little while to catch up with what we were working towards and adjust to it - but once they were up to speed they became terrific players for this club.
“We have been working hard on thwe training ground - with double sessions this week - and I see improvements, it’s coming, and I really believe that.
“The spirit and application of the group has been good too and they are working with us.”
Jay Fulton aside, Falkirk have a clean bill of health for the weekend’s match. Darren Dods has taken part in training this week and Sean Higgins and David Weatherston, who both picked up slight injuries against Hamilton have had no ill effects.
Players in the under-20s team have been impressing too, after a 1-0 win at Hearts in midweek. Dale Fulton scored the winner three minutes from time on the penalty spot.
“It was a terrific performance,” said Pressley. “The team stuck to the principles we work towards and it was fantastic.
“One of the aspects we have been working towards has been our game and shape when we don’t have the ball and the other team - as we saw at Hamilton - come into the game a bit more.
“At Hearts they stuck to their shape, and really deserved their win against a more-experienced side.”
And Pressley is under no illusions the start hasn’t been good enough.
“We have to start winning games. We know that. Airdrie will be tough, we can’t be complacent, but playing Airdrie at home is a game we have to be looking to win, and a game we need to take care of.”