Repeat fixture with Inverness can be Falkirk gauge for Hartley

Paul Hartley will go up against his old manager. Picture Michael Gillen
Paul Hartley will go up against his old manager. Picture Michael Gillen

Paul Hartley will get a measure of his influence on Falkirk when the Bairns play Inverness in the Irn-Bru Cup quarter final.

Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 5.15pm to be screened on BBC Alba, pits Hartley against his former boss John Robertson for the second time in a month.

Falkirk have one win and one loss in Inverness so far this season. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk have one win and one loss in Inverness so far this season. Picture Michael Gillen.

The previous meeting, at The Falkirk Stadium, was Hartley’s first game in charge and now a month on, he’s looking for more evidence of the progress he’s seen in recent weeks.

“I saw good signs on Saturday, with the way we played, how the players performed and the intensity. But there’s still a lot of things we’ve got to work on, it’s not going to be an overnight success on how we want to get results and play and build confidence and that’s got to be built back up.

“We’ll put the strongest team out to get the semi-final, build some momentum and get the win.

“When you’re in this competition you want to try to win it. That’s the aim in Inverness.”

Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.

Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.

Their previous meeting ended 0-0 but since then, there has been progress in performances, albeit the elusive win has yet to transpire for Hartley.

“You measure the opponents of what their strengths are, and for us it’ll be how we’ve come as a team. It’s always difficult up there, never an easy game. Ive experienced it as a player and a manager.

“They had a similar start to us but have picked up a bit. They played well here against us and have some good players. They’ve had a slow start but they seem to be picking up.

“We know we haven’t scored enough goals and thats an area we’ve got to look at, we’ve conceded too many at times. It’s been better recently with four clean sheets – apart from QOS.

“We’ve only been in a month, we said we’d assess the group and see areas we are maybe weaker in, I think January is always a time we can do a little bit of biusiness so lets see where we are on the next couple of months. We’ve got to give everyone a fair chance.”