East Fife win will help squad immensely, says Rennie

Falkirk head coach Martin Rennie called his side’s 2-0 victory over bottom club East Fife another important step towards the squad gaining belief in their own abilities, despite a laboured display in parts against the ten man Fifers.

By Ben Kearney
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 12:44 am
Head coach Martin Rennie and assistant Kenny Miller on the touchline at Bayview (Pictures by Ian Sneddon/Falkirk FC)
Head coach Martin Rennie and assistant Kenny Miller on the touchline at Bayview (Pictures by Ian Sneddon/Falkirk FC)

The cinch League 1 table looks slightly better for Falkirk after the weekend’s results, with Queen’s Park dropping points at Clyde to move the Bairns within a point of fourth spot.

Speaking to the Herald after the match, the 47-year-old was pleased overall with the display.

“Credit to East Fife, they stuck with it the full match and you could tell that it was an important match for them,” he said.

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Jaze Kabia celebrates the opening goal on his debut for the club

“They have home matches that they are wanting to capitalise on and even down to ten men they fought for every ball.

“When we finally got our goal the match opened up a little bit and it was then all about if we could go on and get the next goal on the break, and we did that.”

The head coach praised the scorer of both Bairns goals, new loanee Jaze Kabia for his impact after coming on as a substitute. Joining on loan from Livingston on Friday, the Irishman looked sharp and took his two goals well.

Rennie also mentioned the club’s transfer dealings so far, saying: “I get asked all the time about what we are doing in the transfer window but I think Jaze is the perfect example of why it is important to get the right personalities and quality in.

Jaze Kabia nets the second on the break, slotting home with a wonderful driven effort

“Aaron Taylor-Sinclair in my opinion was one of our best performers today and Anton Dowds has scored four goals since coming back.

“With Jaze coming in today I would say that is three players of extreme quality coming into the first team squad.

“It’s a good start to a window in my eyes, if players can’t really help us and boost us then I don’t see the point.”

Another impressive performance came from goalkeeper Paddy Martin, who put in a superb display in net to keep the Fifers at bay. With Robbie Mutch returning to the matchday squad - Martin picked the perfect time to look so assured after a difficult period.

Jaze Kabia shows his appreciation to the travelling Bairns support at full time

He did really well today. His collection of crosses was great and he made a number of really good saves to keep us ahead,” Rennie said speaking about the goalkeeper.

“On the ball he did well too and was really calm. He didn’t play it out for the sake of it and made sure we had safe possession.

“A clean sheet was deserved for him because he has had matches where his saves have merited one.

“For the defence, even against ten men, a clean sheet is big for us and is progress.”

With a tough match against Montrose coming up to end a run of three away matches, the head coach didn’t want to get drawn into the specifics of the next match.

He said: “My focus is solely on improving the team at this time. Building confidence is key.

“In terms of that the players still have a long way to go, but the difference from when I first came into the club is stark and they deserve credit for that.

“It’s hard for me because I am looking at things from the perspective of my tenure.

“In our last three we’ve won two and lost one which is moving in the right direction.

“For the players they will probably be thinking about the season as a whole, rather I am thinking only about since I have come into the club, which has been really positive.”

He added: “It has been an up-and-down season for them but for me I can see way more positives than negatives.”

Giving an update about the squad after the win he said: “Callumn Morrison was out with a Covid related absence.

“We decided to put Craig McGuffie out there in the first half to provide width and we brought Leon McCann on later for a bit of a defensive minded player.

“Craig has been brilliant for me, I think he is a player with a lot of ability and he can play in a number of different positions which really suit the way we play.”