Faultless display from Tony on ‘tidy’ debut

Tony Gallacher 23. Picture by Michael Gillen.
Tony Gallacher 23. Picture by Michael Gillen.

Falkirk boss Peter Houston has praised the full debut performance of 17-year-old defender Tony Gallacher during Saturday’s 6-1 win over Elgin which confirmed the manager’s instinct.

The teenager played the 90 minutes at left-back and did not look out of place in the Irn-Bru Cup victory which set up a tie with Ayr United.

And Houston reckons Gallacher has shown enough to put faith in him – just as he thought – if he ever had to replace regular left-back Luke Leahy.

He said: “I have learned that if Luke Leahy is injured or if he is not playing well – I have confirmed what I thought – I’d have no fear putting Tony in.”

“Tony will be in contention [for Saturday’s match with Raith Rovers], but Luke hasn’t done anything wrong to be out of the team and I spoke to him about giving Tony the debut last week.”

Gallacher was back with the under-20s on Tuesday in another fine win - 3-0 over Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s development team - but Houston praised his senior debut and admitted Leahy was also “in contention” to return against the Rovers.

He added: “He will be feeling good after a fine debut.

“He was tidy, never beaten defensively and used the ball well, in fact he created one of our goals with a run into the box.

“Things like him being positive is what you want to see in a young player. I told him if he made a mistake I wouldn’t care about it but how he reacted to it. I wanted him to clear his head quickly – I genuinely don’t remember him making any mistakes so he didn’t need to clear his head!

“He didn’t try to be a world beater, used the ball well and supported his team-mates.”

Houston may have a choice on the left-side but his hand could be forced in his right-sided selection with Aaron Muirhead having a scan on a knee cartilage issue.

Houston added: “We’re waiting on results but it’s not too serious. It depends if he restarts training [today]. Deniz Mehmet picked up a dead leg but Danny Rogers will be back from Ireland duty.”