Falkirk: Peter Houston hails risk-taking Bairns after win over Hibs

Peter Houston
Peter Houston heaped praise on his Falkirk side as they reached the Premiership play-off final

Falkirk manager Peter Houston hailed his side for "taking chances" as they progressed to the Premiership play-off final thanks to Bob McHugh's late goal.

McHugh's stoppage-time winner meant the Bairns beat Hibs 3-2, 5-4 on aggregate.

"We're deep into injury time and the two centre-halves are in the opposition box for a long throw-in," Houston told BBC Scotland.

"We take chances. We took a chance tonight, and Bob McHugh scores again - brilliant."

Houston's side now face Kilmarnock in a two-legged final, on Thursday 19 and Sunday 22 May, with the winner playing top-flight football next season.

"We'd have been on our holidays tonight if we'd lost that, and we didn't want that," said Houston, whose side were runners-up in the Championship. "We all spoke about it during the week.

Falkirk celebrations
Falkirk will play Kilmarnock over two legs for a place in the top flight

"We wanted to be in that final - normally the second-best team in the league gets to the play-off final. Very difficult game against Kilmarnock - I'll go to their game [against Dundee United on Saturday]. We've already had them watched a number of times."

McHugh has made a habit of coming off the bench to score crucial late goals for Falkirk. He struck late on against Hibs in the sides' previous two meetings - including the first leg of the semi-final - and scored a last-gasp winner at home to Rangers.

On Friday, though, Houston opted to start McHugh, in place of Lee Miller, rather than deploy the striker later in the game.

"He's been chapping my door for three weeks - 'when am I getting a start?'" Houston explained. "I went with tried and trusted, and [John] Baird and Lee have been doing well and scoring lots of goals.

"It was injury that took Bob out the team, not me. But I brought him here because he's a goalscorer. I gave him the opportunity tonight, I thought it was the right time to unleash him because I needed pace in behind a wee bit more, and it worked."

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