The Scottish Championship is only six matches old, but already the first ‘six-pointer’ of the campaign is upon a struggling Falkirk side.
Manager Ray McKinnon and striker Dennon Lewis both agreed that, even at this early stage, it is a game of massive importance.
The Bairns, having lost six out of six in the league, sit three points behind an Alloa Athletic side that are winless.
The Wasps have picked up points on the road at Inverness and Dunfermline, as well as drawing at home with Dundee United. Having also been successful in five out of six cup matches,
Alloa are having a far more enjoyable season than their opponents on Saturday, Falkirk.
Asked whether it was a six-pointer, Bairns boss McKinnon said: “For people looking in, it probably is. We are not hiding away from the fact that it’s a huge game.
“It will be a tough game at Alloa, but I think it is one that we are going to be ready for.”
Falkirk defeated Alloa 2-1 at the Indodrill Stadium in pre-season, but McKinnon doesn’t believe that will play any part this weekend.
“They have strengthened their squad since pre-season.
“At home they are quite formidable, it’s a tough place to go and the astro is tight and competitive.
“There’s no advantage to have beaten them earlier in the season in a friendly, this is a league game and they are totally different. We have to go their and be at our best.”
The pitch, which has been drawn in by nine metres, will be no excuse on Saturday, according to McKinnon.
“You play on all different size of park, it will come down to who wants to win the game and who works the hardest.
“The size of the pitch doesn’t make much difference. Will it affect how we want to play? Possibly. We will wait and see.”
Striker Dennon Lewis is under no illusions as to the importance of Saturday’s tie.
“Realistically, this is a six point game.
“We want to win, we need to win and we need to get some points on the table.
“We are going into the game thinking we have to win it, it’s a must win game for us personally. Everyone is riled up for this game.”
Lewis scored his first Bairns goal during Falkirk’s last trip to Alloa, and says that is something he will be reminding the manager of this week.
“100 per cent [I will be knocking on his door]
“I have scored there before and hopefully I can get a couple on Saturday and move forward from that.”
The 21-year-old believes that improvement has been clear to see under Ray McKinnon so far, and hopes that can continue.
“I hope the fans can start to see a little bit of progression, that is what we are aiming for.
“Ray has been fantastic and everyone is buying into his tactics and what he wants.
Saturday’s match is followed up by the visit of Dunfermline to Falkirk, as the Bairns prepare for crunch time.