Falkirk boss Martin Rennie hopes weekend's big win will boost mental strength

Virtually everything finally went right for Falkirk last Saturday, after the tribulations of recent months, as they produced a superb display at home to defeat Dumbarton 6-2.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:36 pm
Falkirk head coach Martin Rennie (picture by Michael Gillen)
Falkirk head coach Martin Rennie (picture by Michael Gillen)

The Bairns hope to build on that discovery of form and rich goalscoring to cement confidence throughout the squad and hopefully put together a good run in cinch League One.

And, while it was a great individual result, head coach Martin Rennie says further improvement and hard work is necessary, while he is equally aware of the talent and desire within the team.

Anton Dowds returned from a loan spell at Arbroath – which he concluded with a flurry of goals – and scored a hat-trick against the Sons, while defender Aaron Taylor-Sinclair scored on his debut at Falkirk Stadium. Aidan Keena also netted within a couple of minutes of coming on as a substitute, while Callumn Morrison added the other counter.

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It was a first win for boss Rennie and his assistant head coach, Kenny Miller, and everyone hopes the momentum can be carried forward – starting this Saturday away to Airdrie.

“I think it was an enjoyable game,” said Rennie of last Saturday’s goalfest. “I have watched a lot of Falkirk games over the years and that was one where we created a lot of chances, scored a lot of goals and generally played well.

"That was nice to see, because we have been working on things, in the few weeks we have been together, and saw a lot of things we have been looking for.

"That was encouraging, and winning definitely helps to breed confidence.

"We’ll be working on trying to build that confidence and that culture and that mentality anyway – and then, obviously, when you get wins, it helps as a bonus and builds it more.

"But you have to have that mental strength, regardless of what else is going on.”

While there may be expectations in some quarters for more of the same kind of form this Saturday, and beyond, after so much disappointment in recent weeks, the emphasis would remain very much on the tasks in hand, said Rennie. But there was much faith in the ability of the squad and a respect for the supporters.

“We are focused on what we need to do – to keep improving and work hard,” he added. “We also know there is a lot of talent in the team and a lot of good players.

"There is a really good attitude, a really great willingness to learn and get better, and a real desire to do well for Falkirk and for their fans.

"We know as the club does well that the fans really are a massive force behind the team. We know we have one of the best fan bases in the whole country and we need really to invigorate that and get them excited about the games.”

Rennie appreciated many fans would have liked to have been at the Dumbarton match but, as Scottish Government crowd restrictions were lifted, he hoped more would be able to get to matches and enjoy them.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s game at the Penny Cars Stadium against third-placed Airdrie, who beat East Fife 3-0 on Saturday, he said: “We respect every team we are going to play against and we have confidence against every team we are going to play against.

"A big part of it is just focusing on what we need to do and doing it as well as we can. We are still early into learning new things and working on things, so we have to see improvement and development, as well as making sure the work ethic and hunger to be successful is on show, and I am sure we will see that on Saturday.”

The boss was delighted with the performances of Dowds and Taylor-Sinclair on Saturday and added he was hopefully getting close to bringing another couple of new players in. “We are also really happy with the players we have, so we want to develop them and get the best out of them as well,” he said.

"We are evaluating and giving people the chance to show what they can do. There is competition for places but there has to be more to help us be at out best. It’s always a challenge picking the team but it’s better if the team is doing well.”

Keena and fellow substitutes Aidan Nesbitt and Seb Ross were also praised for their performances after joining the action on Saturday, while Rennie indicated that players coming back from injury would present further options.