Peter Houston will quit Falkirk – if he fails in his bid to restore the Bairns to the Ladbrokes SPFL Premiership this season.
The boss re-iterated his pledge from last week’s fans’ forum and insisted he will do all he can to turn the ailing side’s fortunes around – or he will walk away in May if he can’t.
Fan frustrations at another slow start to the Championship season have become increasingly louder over the past fortnight and the boss has admitted defeats like Saturday’s at home to Queen of the South “are the types to get managers into trouble”.
And while Houston has no issues with the fans’ grumbles manifesting into more widespread discontent at the team’s performances, he is eager to right the record this weekend in Ireland.
He said: “We were nine off the lead in the league last year, this year we’re the same, but it’s a marathon. We’re not happy where we are, I know the punters aren’t happy either and I don’t blame any of them for criticising the players, me or the team, it’s our responsibility and my responsibility.
“I said at the fans’ forum if we don’t go up this season, I’ll walk away. I’ve no problem with that.
“I’ll have had my time and a tough three or four years.
“I’m determined to correct it and I know we have the players with the ability to correct it.
“But talk is cheap, we have to do it now.
“A good result for us would be a clean sheet and that’s what we have to work on - but we need our strikers to take chances and hold the ball up and have our midfielders create more.
“We keep giving away early goals. Keep doing that and because we’re not winning anxiety sets in. Not just among the players but supporters too and I understand that - totally.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about them for it. I’d be the same wanting the team to show the form of the last three years but we will get there and keep working at it.”
The players have held clear the air talks between themselves and embarked on a team bonding session on Tuesday after training.
The unusual trip to Ireland – going into Europe on domestic cup duty – is also seen as having potential to add to morale after the recent confidence denting defeats.
Houston added: “Right after the game [on Saturday] I thought I’d rather have a league game to get the monkey off our back, but since then, thinking about it, it’s maybe no bad thing to get away together.
“It’s a difficult game, we only had 13 fit players train [Tuesday] and the rest were young players.
“To have a pop at this league you need strength in depth.
“We have the strength, though I don’t think we are showing it right now, but we don’t have the depth.
“We have a lot of young players but they are not ready yet.
“I had Mark Stowe on the bench at the weekend with Jonny Mitchell. They are filling jerseys at the moment.
“It would be unfair of me to throw them in and ask them to dig us out a hole when the team isn’t playing well. That could set them back in their careers.”
Lee Miller and Craig Sibbald will miss the trip to The Showgrounds, serving the second of their two-match suspensions for violent conduct.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm.
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