Hughes casts net

Falkirk boss looks at the European market

By JULIAN PECK

SPORTS EDITOR

FALKIRK boss John Hughes is looking further afield in an attempt to add to his squad before the January transfer window closes.

He was casting his eye over two potential new signing targets who played in a closed-doors bounce game at Westfield on Tuesday.

One is a German goalkeeper while the other is a Portuguese defender, and both trialists may be offered deals to join the Bairns.

"We are continuing to work closely with agents," Hughes told Heraldsport. "And have scoured the Scottish market.

"However, there is not much going about that would enhance the squad so we are looking at a couple of players from outwith the country.

"It is an exasperating business at times and patience is the key but I still hope to sign one or two this month. However, I am delighted to have Liam Craig, Patrick Cregg and Densil Theobald on board and I am sure they will produce the goods."

Craig completed his transfer from Ipswich Town this week after passing a medical, and initially joins the club until the summer. The 19-year-old took part in Tuesday's game.

"Liam did his cause no harm at all," explained Hughes. "He has a sweet left foot and has the potential to do very well here. He may well be included in Saturday's squad."

Trinidad and Tobago internationalist Theobald is still awaiting international clearance since obtaining a work permit last Thursday.

The 22-year-old midfielder was initially turned down as he did not meet the criteria of playing in the desired number of international matches for his country.

However, after a successful appeal, the club is now hopeful that clearance will come through this week and he can be included in the first team squad as early as this weekend.

Glennon

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Matt Glennon has been told that he can move on if another club comes in for him.

"Matt felt that being left out in the last two games was unjust and that he doesn't want to be number two," explained Hughes.

"However, Allan Ferguson has been very patient and has showed what a top class keeper he is. Matt needs to be patient as well.

"That goes for every player at Falkirk – they all have to show respect for the club, play with a passion that it – and the fans – deserve and demand, and appreciate what they have here.

"Everyone needs to adopt a feeling of what it means to play for Falkirk, and if they cannot take that on board then they can move on.

"We are all in it together, from the chairman to the groundsman, and we must have a real sense of togetherness to move forward.

"I am sure the supporters want to see that as well because it is their club – it is their Falkirk.

"They are all very passionate people and need to know that we are doing everything the right way.

"Like them, I want it all yesterday, but I am certain that we will get there in the end."

Elsewhere, Ryan McStay has been loaned out to Queen of the South until the end of the season while John O'Neil has joined Gretna.

"We have to thank John for everything he has done for the club," said Hughes. "He played a big part in last season's campaign and we wish him all the best for the future."

While a goal in the 89th minute robbed Falkirk of at least a point against Dundee United last Sunday, the manager is ready for this Saturday's challenge against Inverness Caley at Westfield.

"The players knew they were in a game against Dundee United," he added. "And ran a team that has played in the top-flight for a long time very close.

"That is what I need from now until the end of the season and we will begin by going all out to win the match this Saturday."

Hughes should have a full squad to pick from including Andy Thomson, who successfully came through Tuesday's bounce game.

l John Underhill will referee this Saturday's match.