Hartley: Bairns Dunne well against St Mirren

Paul Hartley was joined in the dugout by new assistant Jimmy Nicholl. Picture Michael Gillen
Paul Hartley was joined in the dugout by new assistant Jimmy Nicholl. Picture Michael Gillen

Paul Hartley hailed his players after the scoreless draw with St Mirren - but especially 17-year-old debutante Cieran Dunne.

The young midfielder, from Linlithgow, came off the bench for his first ever appearance for Falkirk after graduating Forth Valley Academy this summer.

Cieran Dunne impressed on his debut. Picture Michael Gillen

Cieran Dunne impressed on his debut. Picture Michael Gillen

And Hartley likes what he saw in Dunne’s half hour.

“The young kid Cieran that came on just caught my eye in two days.

“He’s never been in a first team squad or near it whatsoever. I saw him up at Montrose on Tuesday and liked what I saw.

“I put him in with the first team on Thursday and ‘Yeah okay, I’ll have you’. I was not scared putting him on.

It was a whirlwind few days for the teenager. More in this weeks Falkirk Herald.

It was a whirlwind few days for the teenager. More in this weeks Falkirk Herald.

“He was bright, positive, great pace but he’s still a young kid. He’s 17 and this is his first year as an apprentice.

“There’s a lot to work on but we’ve good talent there.”

Hartley praised all his players though and admitted “I’ve got to”.

He added: “The players were excellent and Ive got to praise them. They’ve been outstanding and the work in the demands Ive put on them with the tempo, the pressing and the fitness levels.

“We’re on the right track, I know that, I can see it. There’s nothing won just now and we’ll go on a run - I mean that. We’ve got enough quality and i we can just find the back of the net.

“The defenders are disappointed. They’re keeping clean sheets but at the other end we’re not taking our chances. But its a team game.

“We have had four clean sheets in a row now but its at the other end. Just that little bit of finesse and composure is something to work on.

“Nathan Austin was a threat and their centre halves knew they were in a game. Its just that bit of quality and the final wee bit we need to work on. He’ll relax and find the net - we’re snatching at things. We’ve spoken about it and we’ll find it. I’ve got a good group.”

In summing up the game the Bairns boss said: “I thought we were strong and excellent today. We took the game to them and second half we were really strong.

“They had a good chance at the end but we deserved to win today and just lacked that extra bit of quality of putting that ball in the net.

“The goalkeeper made the save at the end but that’s what he’s there for. He’s been excellent since I came in.”

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