Smith demands same high standards of his Bairns

Alex Smith and Stevie Crawford are taking the Bairns while a permanent successor to Steven Pressley is established
Alex Smith and Stevie Crawford are taking the Bairns while a permanent successor to Steven Pressley is established
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Just because Elvis has left the building, his playing style won’t follow, says Alex Smith.

The Bairns interim boss has demanded the players he mentored under Pressley must maintain the standards and principles set under their old manager, because he demands the same.

Speed of passing, closing down the opposition and winning the ball back were all features of the Bairns play under the previous regime, but with Smith, Stevie Crawford and Robbie Neilson remaining from that management team the standards won’t slip.

“That playing style was brought about by consensus,” Smith said.

“I have told the players I am looking for the same. Just because one manager is away and another one could be coming in, doesn’t mean there’s time to ease off.

“I know how they trained, how they played and I’m looking for the same standards.

“Livingston are in a similar position to Falkirk in terms of having no permanent manager, and like us they have good players.

“They’re one of the better footballing sides we’ve played this season but we played very well the last time we met.”

Smith was delighted with Craig Sibbald in the midweek win over St Johnstone in the under-20s league. But equally, he praised Will Vaulks at central defence and the full-backs Liam Rowan and Kyle Turnbull.

It was a goal from Steven Brisbane that won the tie for the Bairns, who lost striker Lewis Small to a head wound.

He should be fit for a place on the becnh on Saturday, but Darren Dods’ has still not trained in the early part of the week though may make a return at the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium.

His regular defensive partner Johnny Flynn is available for selection again after suspension kept him out against Morton at Cappielow. That will likely see Stephen Kingsley move back to his left side position.