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.”