Paul Paton has gone from being a new boy in the Bairns dressing room to one of the established players in the recent mass turnaround of personnel.
As one of very few Paul Hartley signings to survive the transfer window – and continue first-team involvement – Paton has begun to exert influence on the Bairns as he’s settled into the side.
He’s also helped as a familiar face for Paul Dixon who arrived last month, and the Dundee United duo have stood out in the Bairns recent run of form, that continued at Alloa on Saturday.
PLAYER PROFILE: Paul Paton
And for the 31-year-old who has spent the past 15 years in Scottish football he came up against yet more of his former team-mates during the 2-1 win and knows how important the victory was.
“I played with Alan Trouten at Queen’s Park,” he explained. “Troutie is a great player and everyone knows the records he has in the lower leagues scoring goals, and I’ve played with Iain Flannigan too. Every time I see him I see him play well. He’s a comfortable midfielder on the ball so it was an important game to win at Alloa, because they’ve got good players like them.”
Paton was instrumental on Saturday, but he passed on the plaudits to his former Dundee United team-mate Dixon, although paid tribute to all the new signings who have swept into Westfield under ‘The Rayvolution’.
“Since the new year it ‘s been brilliant, the manager has obviously reshaped the team band brought a lot of new players in. They’re all good lads and have done well, adding something new to the team.
TEAM STATS: Falkirk FC
“I knew a few of the boys coming in, and I was close with Dicker (Paul Dixon) when we were at Dundee United and though I don’t like to single anyone out he’s been excellent since he came in here. They all have and have all added something.
“He’s a really reliable defender, he’s a Scotland international and you can see that in his performances. He’s a really composed and mature player.
“We’re a lot better than we were and we now know we can get even better and that’s the pleasing thing.
“We will look up the league but we will still be wary because it’s only a couple of bad results and we can drop back down there. It’s just a shame there’s a blank weekend because the boys would have relished another one. We’re on the crest of a wave right now and it’s disappointing to have a weekend off when you’re feeling good but we’ll recharge for Dundee United.”
MATCH PREVIEW: Falkirk v Dundee United
That’s another return for Paton who will feature in his 450th professional game if selected.
He added: “We might be off the bottom of the league but we know there’s still a long way to go.
“Up until now its been a long hard season. Not a lot has gone our way and we’ve not been great but we seem to have really picked up.
“We have been bottom for the majority of that, but now we’re off it. We can’t take things for granted. Partick Thistle were in the SPFL last season and Alloa are a good side and after a couple of results we could be back on the bottom - we’ll stay positive though.
“We knew Alloa was the acid test and would be a hard game and we managed to come through it but this is just the start for us.”