Hartley seeking 40-goal strikers on ‘same’ budget

Paul Hartley has pledged to get the best value out of next season’s playing budget – while eyeing a 40-goal strike partnership.

The Bairns boss spoke after Saturday’s emphatic 5-2 win in Dumbarton ( Click here for match report) and claimed next season’s budget will be similar what he’s already working with.

Paul hartley is looking for goal-getters with Louis Longridge currently joint top scorer on seven strikes. Picture Michael Gillen.

Paul hartley is looking for goal-getters with Louis Longridge currently joint top scorer on seven strikes. Picture Michael Gillen.

Last week a club statement from chief executive Craig Campbell said the board had “signed off and agreed the single largest first team playing budget seen at this club whilst in the Championship”.

But Hartley warned: “I think they got a bit ahead of themselves to be quite honest – the budget will be what it was last season.

“So we’ll work with the budget we have – that’s what I’ve always done and we’ll try to get the best possible squad that’s available to us for the money we can pay.”

LEAGUE TABLE: SPFL Championship

Louis Longridge was named players' player of the year last night. Picture Michael Gillen.

Louis Longridge was named players' player of the year last night. Picture Michael Gillen.

That will, he hopes, include a proven goalscorer or strike partnership capable of firing the Bairns to the right end of the table, and to promotion.

Currently the club’s top scorers race is a four-way tie between Joe McKee, Aaron Muirhead, Alex Jakubiak and players’ player of the year Louis Longridge.

But after seeing five different scorers in Saturday’s rout, the Bairns boss added: “We split the goals between the team and the forwards and midfielders. It’s really pleasing.

“When you’re trying to go for a title or be promoted, you need two strikers who’ll get you 35-40 goals between them and we’ve not quite had that but it was nice to share it out.

“Next year we need people in the group to get us goals.”

In Quotes: Dumbarton 2 Falkirk 5