Poor fixture scheduling has created a cup headache for Peter Houston and Falkirk, according to the former Bairns boss Steven Pressley.
The team are currently on a preparatory tour ahead of next weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup final, but it comes too late in the season for Elvis.
Getting around that is a big test for Peter and Alex, but one that they have the experience to combat – no doubt about that – but it is an advantage for Inverness who I believe start as favourites anywaySteven Pressley
The Bairns have been match idle for almost three weeks now, and played Burnley on Tuesday in a closed doors friendly, watched by the former boss, in a bid to stay as match sharp as possible ahead of the meeting with Inverness. They’ll meet Swansea before returning home for the final week’s preparation ahead of Hampden, but the break is a blow says Pressley.
“This will be the biggest test of Alex Smith and Peter Houston’s Scottish Cup preparations. How do they handle such a gap?
“I remember my first season in charge at Falkirk and the weather forced us into a six-week break and we lacked sharpness when we returned.
“Getting around that is a big test for Peter and Alex, but one that they have the experience to combat – no doubt about that – but it is an advantage for Inverness who I believe start as favourites anyway.
“That in itself will be unusual for them as they’ll have to deal with the pressure and expectation that they aren’t usually accustomed to.”
Pressley believes the cup final and end of the lower league season should be closer to avoid this month-long gap.
“In England they moved the FA Cup final within the season a few years ago and that’s what should happen in Scotland to avoid scenarios like Falkirk’s four week break.
“Someone should have looked ahead and factored in Rangers , Hearts and Hibs in the Championship, plus Falkirk and Queen of the South and realised there was a reasonable chance one of them from outside the Premiership might be involved this year.”
The enforced break has however given Rory Loy additional time to recover from his leg injury which has puzzled doctors and specialists.
The latest suggestion is he looks likely to recover from the severe bone bruising that has kept him out since the quarter final and Pressley believes the Bairns talisman would add to their chances.
“Inverness are a team who like to dominate possession – that suits Falkirk and their counter attack. They showed that against Hibs.
“With Loy back they could have additional threat to add to that system.
“I watched the team against Queen of the South in the league and though they battled and dug in you could tell they were missing something in attack.”