The next game is still always the biggest for McCracken and Falkirk
Falkirk co-manager David McCracken says their approach to the season hasn’t changed as they prepare for their first game in over two months when they take on Montrose at The Falkirk stadium this Saturday.
The Bairns coaching staff, with the side sitting top of League 1, have emphasised a “one game at a time” approach in their pursuit of the title and promotion to the Championship.
Montrose are currently third in the table, just three points behind the leaders while Cove Rangers are second just two points behind so anything other than a win on Saturday could see them lose top spot in their first weekend back.
With the season now reduced to 22 games from 27 and the last four being against the other promotion chasing teams, should they finish in the top half of course, the pressure is ramped up even more on the pre-season title favourites.
"We'll just take it one game at a time and Saturday's game is always the most important one of the season for us,” said McCracken.
"It goes without saying but we're delighted to be back, it's been a tough few months but we've had a good few sessions in the past week or so and the boys are ready to go.
"I'm pretty sure Montrose will fancy themselves to finish near the top of the table but the congested fixture list will be challenging for everyone.
"The game will be tough, we know the type of team they are and they will play to their strengths but we will take positives out of our performances against them earlier in the season and try to take that into Saturday's game.”
League 1 and 2 teams have had just over a week to prepare for these fixtures and for part time clubs like Montrose that would likely mean even less training than Falkirk have been able to fit in.
Despite that, McCracken is confident the Montrose players will have returned in good condition just as his own squad has.
He said: “I'm pretty sure part time clubs will be getting extra training sessions in and training just as much as us so I don't expect us to have any extra advantage.
"We have trust that the players have looked after themselves over the off period, the professional game is reliant on that, our boys have come back in good condition and even though we've had to look after training and construct it properly we're happy with where we're at.”
The Bairns have bolstered their squad with three new loan signings since returning to training having brought in Kyle McClelland from Rangers and Dundee United pair Kai Fotheringham and Lewis Neilson.
"We won't be alone in doing that,” said McCracken.
"Other clubs will have taken in loanees to bolster their squad for the fixture congestion and that's what we've done.
“We're unsure how many injuries we could pick up and how and when they will happen so we need to cover ourselves properly and we're happy with the quality we've brought in.”