‘We had to rein them in’ admits Bairns co-manager McCracken as training heats up

David McCracken. Picture: Michael Gillen
David McCracken. Picture: Michael Gillen

David McCracken and Lee Miller’s increase of intensity to Falkirk’s training almost backfired on the rookie managers.

The pair entered the Bairns dressing room and asked the players to lift the intensity of training sessions – and to replicate that in games.

The response was positive and even better than they expected – and the coaches had to settle the players down as trainign got too competitive.

McCracken explained: “When myself and Lee came in we recognised a few things having looked at some of the guys’ previous games and how they looked.

“The intensity levels didn’t look great to us and there were times in the game where there was an acceptance that the other team would have the ball. Of course every team will have a percentage of the game but that’s something we thought we could affect.

“So going into training we made a focus on the intensity of how they train and ensuring that it is installed in them before the game – it’s not something you can switch on after training lightly through the week, then ramping it up tenfold in the game.

“It doesn’t happen like that. The boys have reacted well to that.”

With playing experience at opposite ends of the park the Bairns dugout duo have complementary expertise and use that to their advantage.

McCracken backs the defenders while Miller takes the forwards and when the two collide, there’s been a competitive edge to training.

The former captain went on: “We have split sessions where we’ve started altogether and then Lee has taken the attacking and I’ve looked at defensive, and then we have come back together. That’s worked well because it creates that wee sense of competition between defence and attack. How many can you score, how many can you stop?

“It’s something else we want to instill in them – a competitive nature. There’s no point going round training having a laugh and enjoying yourself then going into the game where you need to win and are expected to turn it on.

“Mentality doesnt work like that, we need to create that all the time. Last week we had to rein it in a bit because training got heated! We have to be careful. We want them flying into everything but we need to be careful.

“It’s been good and the reaction has been great. Without us going and sourcing it, the feedback has come to us to say it’s been a good change and the boys are enjoying it.

“Naturally you get a bounce with a new management team, and it’s up to us to keep continuing it.”