Southampton FC interest in former Aberdeen goalkeeper Robbie Mutch not surprising for Falkirk boss McCracken

National newspaper reports suggested a 'delegation' from the English Premier League club had watched the goalkeeper save a penalty against Montrose on Saturday.

Mutch saved Russell Maclean's spot-kick. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Mutch saved Russell Maclean's spot-kick. Picture: Michael Gillen.

And while the Bairns were unaware of a scouting mission from the south coast, co-manager David McCracken isn't surprised his goalkeeper is attracting interest.

The 21-year-old penned another extension to his contract in January after establishing himself as Falkirk's number one. He will stay with the Bairns until 2022 - but other clubs are said to be interested in ending his stay at Westfield early.

Performances have progressed rapidly this season as the goalkeeper has enjoyed a long run in the first-team, benefitting both himself and the team - including Saturday where a crucial penalty save grabbed the headlines, and the win for Falkirk against Montrose.

Boss McCracken said: "I wasn't aware of a delegation looking at him on Saturday but we were aware of teams watching him in January. I don't think he's done himself any harm on Saturday either.

"To be honest he's had a fairly quiet few months since we came in which is testament to his defence and the way the team has performed but when he has been called upon he has stood up to be counted and performed well.

"Some people will look at games and think he's not doing anything. But he is. He is confident in coming for crosses he plays it quickly from the back and can take it or go long to the halfway line. He is very accurate and that helps us in our quick transition when we play, he's mastering things like that. Coming and taking crosses and taking possession is crucial for the team to just take a breather like that when there is pressure.

"We are delighted with his progression and when you have player playing like that, not just goalkeepers, then of course it's going to attract attention."

Mutch has spent time on loan at Deveronvale, Dumbarton and Arbroath in the past but was signed to Falkirk by Peter Houston in 2017. Then he was a team-mate of Lee Miller and worked with David McCracken as a fitness coach.

Now boss, Mutch is McCracken's go-to goalkeeper and he added: "Myself and Lee knew him before and the improvement and progression has been unbelievable and through the rest of the season and next season it will benefit him even more.

"We said this was his chance to establish himself. he was a bit in and out with Cammy in the squad and he was only getting a sniff. He now has a proper opportunity to stay in. It's not the case he has nothing to worry about, because we have Callum Ferrie a good goalkeeper there too who is pushing him hard.

"Robbie has to keep his consistency level and keep that performance level up but going by Saturday that's exactly what he's doing."