One team at a time for Paul Hartley’s Falkirk

Paul hartley celebrates Falkirk's sixth goal on Saturday. Picture Michael Gillen.
Paul hartley celebrates Falkirk's sixth goal on Saturday. Picture Michael Gillen.

Dumbarton are in Falkirk’s sights as they prepare to make a chilly journey north to Inverness.

The match tonight passed an 11am pitch inspection but while the Highland capital is their destination, it’s Dumbarton who are in the Bairns sights.

Dumbarton is Paul Hartley's target in seventh place, and he'll take things from there.  Picture Michael Gillen.

Dumbarton is Paul Hartley's target in seventh place, and he'll take things from there. Picture Michael Gillen.

A win over John Robertson’s Caley Jags could lift Falkirk above Dumbarton on goal difference, or goals scored, and out of the relegation play-off position they’ve been mired in since August 19, save for a fortnight when Alex Smith was in charge of the eighth place Bairns.

What’s more, with a win they’d also be on the coattails of Inverness four points ahead.

LADBROKES SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE TABLE

It’s a step-by-step progresion up the league table to safety for Paul Hartley who says it’s one game at a time, and one team at a time – eyeing an overhaul of the Sons and move into seventh, first and foremost.

Saturday's win has given the whole club a huge lift after a stunning performance.  Picture Michael Gillen.

Saturday's win has given the whole club a huge lift after a stunning performance. Picture Michael Gillen.

“Dumbarton is the team we’re looking to catch and we’ve now given ourselves an opportunity and we’ve got to set the standards high again,” he said.

“We’ve got to maintain the standards again as much as we can week after week - it wont be the same every week winning 6-1 but we’ve got to keep the work-rate and ethic of the group. The new players that have come in buy into it, and the players already here have to buy into what we want to do and the terms of it. It needs their attitude and hard work to start with.

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“Tuesday is another tough game, there’s no easy games and everything is about the recovery now.

“It’s never an easy game up there and the preparation is the important one now.”

The Bairns are now as close to the play-offs as they are the basement of the Ladbrokes SPFL Championship after Saturday’s superb performance. Some 13 points separate Brechin at the bottom from the Bairns, and there’s 13 points between ninth and fourth, but the only way is up as far as Falkirk are concerned.

Hartley added: “We’re working day-in day-out to improve the group and we know where we want to take the club and it will take a lot of hard work but I believe in my ability to take this club to the top flight.”

One player who is a doubt for the trip is Tom Taiwo.

The midfielder did not re-appear for the second half of Saturday’s emphatic win over Dundee United.

The boss added: “It’s Tom’s thigh he’s struggling with, he felt it very tight.

“We’ve managed to get a really strong group of players now, so his replacement – Sean Welsh – just slotted in with the same performance.

“It might be a difficult one because of the run of games we’ve had. We’ll need to look at the group and how they all are and the freshness of the team.”

The Bairns ranks will be boosted however by the return of Kevin O’Hara after his eight-match suspension.

Click here for our prematch odds and form guide.

Match referee is John Beaton.