On loan Hearts midfielder Irving sees Falkirk improvement at last

Andy Irving. Picture Michael Gillen.
Andy Irving. Picture Michael Gillen.

Andrew Irving says Falkirk’s improved performances over the past week have been a long time coming.

The Bairns faced the league leaders twice in the space of a week, first knocking Ross County off their SPFL Championship perch, and then going down narrowly to Ayr United on Saturday.

He had a drive in the second half but pulled the effort wide. Picture Michael Gillen.

He had a drive in the second half but pulled the effort wide. Picture Michael Gillen.

It’s left the squad wondering what might have been, says Irving, currently on loan from Hearts.

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“We definitely should have taken something from the game I feel. we are very disappointed. “I don’t think they’ve had many chances or created much at all and that is about the best that we have played off the ball and on the ball.

“ We’ve been unlucky and the improvement has been a long time coming.

Irving saw a lot of the ball in midfield. Picture Michael Gillen.

Irving saw a lot of the ball in midfield. Picture Michael Gillen.

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“We took points off Ross County during the week which was good and we took that into the Ayr game. The positives are there for us to take that twice we have played the league leaders and twice we have played really well and if we can do that against them we can do that against the teams we’re coming up against soon as well.”

The upturn has co-incided with manager Ray McKinnon switching to a 5-3-2 formation.

Irving added: “Maybe the formation has given us more of us attacking threat with the wing backs moving forward and a bit more control all over the pitch. he looks solid at the back with the back 3 and wing backs. I thought everyone was outstanding and the formation definitely worked.

Andy Irving shot this free-kick just wide of Ross Doohan's far post. Picture Michael Gillen.

Andy Irving shot this free-kick just wide of Ross Doohan's far post. Picture Michael Gillen.

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“Everyone is just working way and doing exactly as the manager has asked. Ever since he has coming we have continued to work extremely hard - nothing has changed, we have worked hard and hopefully we have now on the corner and it’s upwards from now on.”

Still a lack of firepower is holding Falkirk back. Despite their improvements it took an own goal from Don Cowie to help them to the point over the Staggies, and then again they registered no shots on target despite carving out some openings against Ayr.

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One was a free-kick from Irving that swung wickedly and just wide of the post in the first half.

“ I enjoyed the game myself I got on the ball a lot and so a lot of the ball as did a lot of the midfield. We got chances and we got a forward it was good it’s just a shame we couldn’t take one.

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“I went close with a free kick in the first half but it was a cross really. it was too fast and probably about too near in I think I just hit a bit too hard. I should never have shot waiting off it wasn’t too far away.”

Irving’s parent club has had a contrasting start to the season, on top of the SPFL Premiership, and they’re still checking in on their midfielder.

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“Hearts are still keeping in contact you give me a phone call of never meant to see how I’m getting on. They have had a good start to the season too.

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“I don’t know if anyone has been at the games the past week but they’re on the phone regularly checking how I’m getting on and if I’m still enjoying things.”