Falkirk facing test of title credentials against table-toppers Cove

Falkirk are set to face a thorough examination of their League One title credentials this weekend during a home game against current table-toppers Cove Rangers.

Cove Rangers hosting Falkirk during their only previous competitive encounter, a Scottish Cup fifth-round game in February 2018 (Photo: Michael Gillen)
Cove Rangers hosting Falkirk during their only previous competitive encounter, a Scottish Cup fifth-round game in February 2018 (Photo: Michael Gillen)

Despite only being newly promoted as League Two champions last term, Paul Hartley’s visitors have adapted to life in the higher division well.

The Aberdeen outfit have won all four of their league games so far this term, putting them four points ahead of second-placed Falkirk – who are also unbeaten, having won two and drawn two of their league fixtures so far – and setting up an enticing encounter at the Falkirk Stadium on Saturday.

“Cove have a good squad,” Miller said.

"They’ve had the squad together for a couple of years now and added bits and bobs.

"I’m not surprised they are doing well.

"They have hit the ground running, but we’ve had a good start as well, so it should be a good game.

"We look to impose ourselves in every game. It doesn’t matter whether it’s home or away.

"We want to make the Falkirk Stadium a fortress, simple as that.

"We want to make it hard for teams coming here, and I think we’ve kind of done that so far.

"It’s an exciting game. It’s a good game for the boys to look forward to as well, one that they want to go and play in.

"It’s the big games that you want to play in and obviously look for the three points.”

Fellow Falkirk co-manager David McCracken is also hugely respectful of the Balmoral Stadium team but says their hosts must make home advantage count.

"When you are going for the league, every game is massive,” McCracken said.

"Cove are going well. They are going well and have made a good start to the season.

"We look forward to it and it should be a good game.

"As I say, they’re in form, but obviously we are as well.

"It’s our home game and we’ll be looking to obviously go and take the win.”

Falkirk go into the top-of-the-table clash with a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Miller added: “We’ve got all our injured guys back training – Aidan Connolly, Aidan Keena, and Charlie Telfer’s back in amongst it.

"Everybody’s fighting fit, and there will be competition for places, so it’s a headache for a manager, but it’s a good headache going forward.”

English striker Akeel Francis, formerly of Accrington Stanley, will likely be a key man for the Bairns on Saturday.

Miller said of the 21-year-old: “Akeel’s been great since he’s been here. He’s a raw talent.

"He keeps getting better every day in training. He’s taking things on board and he’s got a real enthusiasm for the game. He’s learning every day, his hold-up play’s getting better, he’s scoring goals and his actual positional sense is getting much better.”