Brad McKay highlights the 'McGlynn factor' that has helped turnaround the Bairns defensive fortunes

Falkirk defender Brad McKay reckons manager John McGlynn’s attention to detail can explain the side’s stark turnaround at the back.

By Ben Kearney
Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:53 am

After conceding a whopping 55 goals in League 1 last campaign, so far under the ex-Raith boss, the Bairns have kept four clean sheets in five competitive matches.

The defence now looks like the strongest part of the team, with the likes of Sean Mackie, Coll Donaldson and Liam Henderson all looking the part since joining the club.

One of those clean sheets came on the opening day of the league season last weekend, with Falkirk drawing 0-0 with Montrose.

Brad McKay believes John McGlynn's attention to detail is the key to Falkirk's newly-found solidity at the back (Photos: Michael Gillen)

"We worked hard for the clean sheet,” McKay said. “When you compare it to last season the difference is stark.

“Teams scored goals against us with ease and we were all over the place all over the park.

“We had enough chances to win the game and if we took one of them earlier on it would have been a different story.

“Airdrie this weekend will be tough again, they have a core from last season who will do well for them.

Brad McKay put in a heroic performance against Hibs in the Premier Sports Cup group stages - clearing the ball off the line three times

"They’ve added quality and they did well against us last season too – so we want to put that right.”

On his new teammates in defence, he added that playing alongside Coll Donaldson is a partnership he sees as one that could really prosper.

“Sean Mackie and Liam Henderson have come in and shown that they can play across the defence,” McKay said.

“Coll Donaldson is also just getting back now and he is a great defender.

Brad McKay has been a mainstay in the backline so far this campaign after playing a bit-part role last year

“I played with him at Inverness Caley Thistle and we kept 10/11 clean sheets on the bounce at one point in time which was a record.

“That is a big confidence boost knowing you enjoy playing with someone and the competition for places is really high at the moment.”

The former Hearts defender admits the stark difference in the defence’s fortunes is a hard to explain, but that his manager may well be playing a part.

“It is difficult to put a finger on it,” McKay said of the side’s newly-found defensive craft. I wouldn’t stick the knife into those who left the club in the summer because everyone at the club was a good player.

Brad McKay says he 'didn't perform to his best level' last season

“For one reason or another things just didn’t work out.

“It is a team game and as a defence you can be hung out to try sometimes.

“The whole team has to defend from the front.

“If the boys in front of you aren’t working hard then it can fall apart.

“It isn’t just a back four against ten outfield players.

“You can stop things at source and potentially for me the manager's attention to detail has really played a part in it.

“He wants to stop things before it actually starts.

“Each team is different and he really goes into depth on the strengths and weaknesses of each side.”