Pressley prepares Falkirk for Partick

Falkirk boss Steven Pressley has hailed his side's mental toughness as they prepare to face Partick Thistle.

he Bairns boss has admitted the team haven't been firing on all cylinders for the last few weeks - yet they've still magaed to draw six points from the last three league matches.

"We've shown a mental toughness and ground out results recently," he said. "They've handled the pressure well. We've progressed and I can see it all the time - even in the boucne games we've had recently."

However Pressley has sensed a fatigue running through his squad which is approaching a 40th competitive game before the end of March.

That has taken a toll on the tight-knit squad of 14 players - and David Weatherston will again be missing with a groinn injury ahead of the visit from Partick Thistle tomorrow.

Games have caught up with Weatherston, one of the tight-knit 15-man squad who have featured regularly with only fleting additions from the first team fringes from the likes of Kris Faulds, Stephen Kingsley and Ryan Millar.

The experience for those players, however, could come in handy for next term as many of the Bairns first-team regulars are out of contract at the end of the season.

"Players are running out of contract - but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be leaving."

The boss also told The Falkirk Herald recently he hoped to open discussions with Michael McGovern and injury victim Weatherston very soon.

However there is the chance that Mark Millar and Farid El Alagui could leave the club after stand-out seasons.

Nothing has been decidedyet though Pressley admitted the club wouldn't stand in the way of players' career progression.

"Farid is a good example, he wanted to get into English football and came here for the platform. If he does move on it will be good for Falkirk and help us bring in other players.

"The same with Kallum Higginbotham."

However, Pressley will only look outwith the club if there is no Academy player prepared to make the step up to first team level.

"I see the Academy as the way forward for Scottish clubs. We've been really lucky to see the benefits from it so quickly."

Jackie McNamara knows first-hand what the Falkirk Academy is all about having been at the club until January 2010.

The BAirns faced Thistle an incredible seven times last season, but in the two meetings this term, have yet to taste defeat, seeing off the Glasgow club 2-1 on the last clash at The Falkirk Stadium and taking a point from a 2-2 draw at Firhill.

Referee tomorrow is Willie Collum.

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