Fresh start and focus on Falkirk means League One rivals will need to keep pace, striker McManus reckons

30-11-2019. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Stranraer FC. Matchday 15. SPFL Ladbrokes League One. Charleen Steele and Sandra Mark with Declan McManus. Bairn for Life competition winners who got to sit in on the post match interview.
30-11-2019. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Stranraer FC. Matchday 15. SPFL Ladbrokes League One. Charleen Steele and Sandra Mark with Declan McManus. Bairn for Life competition winners who got to sit in on the post match interview.

Declan McManus says Falkirk’s fresh start means other teams in Ladbrokes League One will need to keep up with the Bairns - because they’re solely focussed on themselves.

The Bairns edged up the League One table on Saturday with a win over Stranraer, taking them above East Fife, thanks to McManus’ opener and further goals from Michael Doyle and Mark Durnan.

But the league’s top scorer says they are thinking only of themselves, not their league rivals ahead of a crucial December which includes meetings with East Fife and Raith Rovers then in-form Montrose.

“We’re not worried about anyone else. We are third because of ourselves, not anyone else. We will focus on ourselves, winning games and it’s up to the rest to keep up because we’ll be fighting for every point.

“You see it a lot in football when managers change, there’s a fresh start and different ideas.

MATCH REPORT: Falkirk 3 Stranraer 0

“The two managers who have come in have worked on how they want us to play and we are just trying to apply that on the pitch. A couple of guys have stepped into roles on the pitch and it’s going well. Everyone’s confidence is back up and we’re playing the way we want to.”

McManus’ header eased tension in the Stadium on Saturday and gave the Bairns the platform to see off Stranraer, who had defeated SPFL Championship side Dunfermline just a week before in the Scottish Cup.

The striker admitted: “I still wouldn’t say we were in top gear but to win 3-0 without being in top gear and creating so many chances it can be considered a good day.

LEAGUE TABLE: Ladbrokes SPFL League One

“Stranraer were high in confidence but we just want to make sure that people coming here to Falkirk are leaving the Stadium with nothing.

“We are playing the way we want to - it’s not perfect but it’s gradually improving as we work on things in training.

“Cross balls are big parts of our games. Doyley and Dickers

(Michael Doyle and Paul Dixon) get up and down the right and left all day long and swing balls in.

“As a striker it’s good to know that you’re going to get that service and I was pleased to get on the scoresheet from Louis’ ball in.”