Ramsdens is respite for Falkirk

Gary Holt and assistant Dale Brooks were at Asda Grangemouth with store manager Rosie Grant. Asda are supplying post-training fruit to the Bairns this season.
Gary Holt and assistant Dale Brooks were at Asda Grangemouth with store manager Rosie Grant. Asda are supplying post-training fruit to the Bairns this season.
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Raith Rovers in the Ramsdens Cup is a welcome step away from league football for Falkirk this weekend, says Gary Holt.

The Bairns have made a good start to the league season with seven points from four matches and are still involved in both cup competitions.

It’s in the knockout games that Gary Holt has tried to rotate his squad and keep fringe players like Luke Leahy and Liam Dick fresh and involved and Saturday will be no exception.

Goalkeeper Michael McGovern is in Belfast on international duty with Northern Ireland for matches with Portugal and a trip to Luxembourg, which means understudy Graham Bowman will step into the Enniskillen-born stopper’s empty spot.

“Saturday is a good distraction from the league though it’ll be tough - we’re going away in a cup tie... again!

“It’ll be done on the day we’ll either go through or be out, and the pressure’s off us.

“We miss Michael but that’s a great opportunity for Graham Bowman, he’s a good player and the pressure’s off him too.

“It’s brilliant for the boys to see Michael called up and be noticed, and we hope many more will get called up for their respective age groups.”

Holt attended the Scotland under-19s match at Forthbank in Stirling on Tuesday night “because we don’t have anyone in that squad and I want to see why.”

Alex Smith was also quoted in national press this week slamming Kieran Duffie’s omission from the Scotland under-21s squad for the European Championship qualifier in Holland.

“Craig Sibbald was involved last month at a Scotland training camp and it’s something they should all be aiming for - you’ve got to opush for higher accolades, it’s not all just about resting on your laurels and getting to the Falkirk first team, you’ve got to want to push on and you never know who’s watching.”

David McCracken is still a few weeks off but Johnny Flynn’s rehabilitation continued with a goal in the under-20s match against Hamilton midweek.