James McDonaugh admits he’s surprised to see his old club Hibs struggle in the Championship but says it’s proof of how tough a league it really is.
The Falkirk first team coach arrived at Westfield in August after enjoying success as boss of the Edinburgh club’s football academy, and has since become a key part of Peter Houston’s back room set-up.
With a free Saturday last week, the Bairns were able to take stock of the season so far and the challenges that lie ahead.
“I envisaged Hearts, Hibs and Rangers to open up a gap over everyone else,” he said.
“Hearts have started better than I expected, but their form has been exceptional. You have to credit that. Rangers are hanging on their coat-tails.
“With Hibs, I’m a bit surprised, given the points they’ve dropped.”
“In terms of Falkirk, we’ve dropped points where we would have liked to pick up three - but teams now understand that this is a very hard league.”
The Bairns travel to Dumfries on Saturday to take on Queen of the South - a team likely to be in confident mood after their last-gasp win against Raith Rovers last Friday evening.
“We have to give Queens total respect,” McDonaugh continued. “The manager and myself went to watch them on Friday. They never gave up - they went down to 10 men and still won the game.”
“There are no easy games. Could we maybe compete with Hibs for third or fourth place? We’re just looking after ourselves. We’re up against the other teams. Normally, you would go down there and take a point, but we’ll be trying to take all three.”