Stewart insists team is still in the running

PIC LISA FERGUSON 13/11/2010'FHS 'IRN BRU FIRST DIVISION,Dundee Fc v Falkirk FC'carl finnigan receives red card after a hand ball
PIC LISA FERGUSON 13/11/2010'FHS 'IRN BRU FIRST DIVISION,Dundee Fc v Falkirk FC'carl finnigan receives red card after a hand ball
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RETURNING Falkirk striker Mark Stewart played through the pain barrier in Dundee, and will have to do the same on Saturday against Raith Rovers.

The match is the perfect opportunity, according to Stewart, for Falkirk to regain their title credentials and finally defeat one of their rivals for the solitary promotion spot.

“There’s not many better games to get your bad spell back on track,” the striker told Heraldsport.

“We need to be beating all the so-called big three this season, and at the moment it’s not championship form.

“We’ll pick ourselves up and get out of this rut – we still have time on our side.”

After seeing strike partner Carl Finnigan red-carded for punching the ball into the net in the second half, Stewart will now lead the line in what is practically a make-or-break clash for Falkirk’s season.

But he insists his team-mates are not letting the three-match losing streak get on top of them.

“There’s still belief there, and there needs to be,’’ he said.

“I think we’re one of the favourites and we need to believe a club like Falkirk should be winning the First Division.

“We’re in a rut but, if we’ve got championship material, we’ll dig ourselves out of it.”

That starts with Raith on Saturday where they’ll miss frontman Finnigan.

“Once he went off it made it harder,’’ said Stewart. ‘‘I thought it was a goal and it’s a silly second booking.

“We believe we should have a penalty too, but that’s no excuse.

“We need to dig in and make the breaks go our way to get ourselves out of this sticky situations.

“We were outplayed in the first half and can’t keep losing early goals.”

Falkirk will need to be on top form come Saturday if they are to beat a Raith Rovers side which has surprised many observers this season.

The Kirkcaldy men have set the pace at the top of the table in recent months and remain unbeaten against Falkirk – winning 2-1 at Stark’s Park in August and drawing 0-0 at Westfield in December.

Rovers were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Morton, but remain top by two points.