Houston wants glory for Falkirk

Date published: Friday 29th May 2015 9:50

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The Championship club’s manager could become only the third man to coach two different teams to the trophy.

Jock Stein did it with Dunfermline in 1961 then eight times with Celtic while Alex Smith – Falkirk’s current technical director – claimed it with St Mirren in 1987 and Aberdeen three years later.

Houston was in charge of Dundee United when they defeated Ross County 3-0 to lift the silverware for just the second time in their history five seasons ago.

Falkirk, however, have to go back to 1957 for the last time they took possession of the trophy and many of their fans have never experienced that level of success before.

While Houston is flattered by the chance to join such esteemed managerial company, he is focused much more on delivering for his club’s supporters.

Curiously, Falkirk’s two previous cups wins came as Aston Villa took the corresponding FA Cup in England and the Midlands men meet Arsenal for that prize at Wembley this weekend.

If the Westfield side are successful in their bid for a third victory north of the border, they will become the first non-top flight team to win the event since East Fife defeated Kilmarnock in 1938.

Houston said: “To be mentioned in the same breath as Jock Stein and Alex Smith is probably too much for me. It would mean a lot but it’s not a personal thing for me.

“First and foremost, it’s for our fans, the town of Falkirk and for the football club, who haven’t won it since 1957.

“We’re desperate to go and put a show on. We’re going to be playing a very good side in Inverness, the third-best team in the league.

“We want to do ourselves justice. We don’t just want to come up and be happy at being in the final. Now that we’re there, we want to win it.

“We will give Inverness respect but we won’t fear them. The biggest thing now is we make it difficult for them and who knows what could happen in a one-off situation?

“Our players will be nervous but the Inverness players will be exactly the same. They are similar to us and it will come down to who handles the occasion best.

“It has been a good week and all we need now is for the players to relax and to go and try to put on a performance.”

Houston told his squad his starting line-up in confidence on Thursday and hopes that gives his team an edge at Hampden Park.

He added: “When you want to work on specifics through your training, you’re better naming your team so that you can work on your set plays and things like that.

“The only thing I haven’t done yet is pick the substitutes. That’s going to be a difficult one because for the seven subs, there are probably 10 or 11 players who hope to be chosen.”

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