McGlynn: Bairns are top-flight material

Falkirk manager John McGlynn says the job of bringing in new players over the next few weeks will be made easier due to the club’s infrastructure being akin to that of most Scottish Premiership sides.

By Ben Kearney
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 12:56 pm

The 60-year-old, at the Bairns since leaving Raith Rovers earlier this month, told the Herald one of his main reasons for dropping down to the third tier was because of the top-flight potential of Falkirk.

Now in the door with long-term assistant Paul Smith, he says the facilities in place are already at that level and that means summer signings will be made that little bit easier.

He said: “There are so many agents getting in contact at the moment, this player and that player being offered about and, of course, they all have the best players since sliced bread, but that’s not always the case. My experience tells me that.

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John McGlynn at the Falkirk Stadium earlier this month (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

“I’ve been in the game a long, long time and I know that this period of time is really important – vital, to be honest.

“We’ve been extremely busy over the week and a bit we have been here at the club.

“I’ve chatted to some of the players who are already contracted to the club for the upcoming season, which has been helpful, and there are some of the guys I am yet to speak to but I will soon.

“More so, I’ve been talking to agents and players to try and entice the people we want to come to this football club.

John McGlynn guided Raith to a fifth place finish

“We have a Premiership club in waiting here at Falkirk, I truly believe that. Looking at the facilities, we have everything in place.

“That is the real motivation and excitement for me, coming here with the infrastructure in place. The gym we have is really, really good and compared to some places, the changing rooms are massive.

“We’ve got a coaches’ office here, a manager’s office here and you can really get involved with the players in the space.

“The stadium, as a whole, is a brilliant set-up, and we have space for the players to really prepare pre-match properly.

John McGlynn, left, with Falkirk assistant manager Paul Smith at their new home ground (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

“Our pitch has taken a little bit of criticism recently, and it probably only has another season left in it, but I don’t think it is bad as some people make out.

“If we can get an up-to-date surface put in place next year, then it would be amazing, and that is one thing that I am hoping will happen.

“All of these little things really separate Falkirk from other clubs, and that will make it easier to bring in players.

“Everyone I have met behind the scenes has been really helpful so far and the staff are a great team who have been very welcoming.

Captain Paul Watson will be out until the end of the year

“They are pulling in the same direction, and it is so clear how hard they are working to get the club back onto the right track.”

With the club coming off the back of one of their worst-ever seasons, McGlynn says recruitment will be key to winning promotion from what will be an “unbelievably tough” League 1.

Falkirk finished sixth on just 44 points from 36 games after a calamitous campaign saw them lose more matches than they won.

Now, the league is arguably substantially more difficult, with rivals Dunfermline Athletic coming down from the Scottish Championship along with Queen of the South.

Airdrieonians, runners-up last campaign, will also fancy their chances again, alongside Montrose and newly-promoted Kelty Hearts.

“It will obviously be a challenge,” said McGlynn. “There are few people who have come in and tried already and the club are still here.

“Falkirk finished 35 points behind Cove Rangers at the top, and 28 points behind Airdrieonians. That is a lot, so there is a lot of catching up to do and work to do.

“We believe we can make it happen.

“It won’t be down to the lack of work or a lack of detail that the players receive if we don’t catch up, I can tell you that.

“It won’t be down to a lack of preparation or a lack of understanding about how we want to play.

“The fine details will really be given to the players to ensure we get the right result on a Saturday.

“That’s the way that we work. The way we work is so important to the whole thing going forward.

“We will set standards and everyone will know the simple, small things we need to do.

“Raising the standards at the football club is key.

“Players have to care for the club and recognise that they have a real responsibility.

“It’s not just a hobby here – it is a full-time job and they’ve got a responsibility at a football club this size to stand up and be counted.

“Raise the bar every single time you go out, have pride in the way you go about your business – they’re ways that are going to dictate how a football game is going to go.

“Players have to start to dictate matches at the Falkirk Stadium and not get into a situation where the opposition are waiting on them to make a mistake or us to do badly.

“We can’t take dips like that. We need to have a stronger mentality and that isn’t easy, but that comes down to the recruitment once again, and we need to bring in individuals that can handle that and encourage others to retain that strong mentality.

“Players have to go and fight for things. In this league, you have got to work so, so hard and stay focused from the first minute to the last.

“We have to build a squad that is strong enough to cope with that demand.

“We will work our socks off and they must too.”