Falkirk 'instilled winning mindset', says manager Peter Houston

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Falkirk's Will Vaulks celebrates against Kilmarnock
Falkirk are on a high after Will Vaulks' goal against Kilmarnock
Scottish Premiership play-off final second leg: Kilmarnock v Falkirk (0-!)
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Date: Sunday 22 May Kick-off: 15:00Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website

Falkirk's success this season is down to a mental belief instilled with the help of a self-development consultancy, manager Peter Houston has revealed.

The team have scored a number of crucial last-minute goals this season.

The latest was Will Vaulks' winner in the first leg of the Premiership play-off final against Kilmarnock.

"We have worked on things this season as a team. We worked on the mindset of the players with a company," Houston told BBC Scotland.

"That has been hugely beneficial to us and the players bought into it. That was the most important thing.

"They have a very positive mindset. If the lose a goal, for example, they clear their heads quickly.

"And that's important because, if you let it dwell, you get annoyed with yourself and start falling out with your team-mates."

Falkirk, who travel to Rugby Park for the second leg on Sunday, have further embraced the idea of creating positive attitudes in match preparation.

"We also have personal training programmes that the club had lost when we moved from Stirling University, so we have added that in along with some sports science," Houston explained.

Falkirk manager Peter Houston
Peter Houston thinks his side will have to score against Kilmarnock to win promotion

The manager believes that, should Falkirk come through against Kilmarnock in Sunday's second leg, their promotion to the top flight of Scottish football would be more than justified.

"I genuinely believe that Falkirk are the size of club that Scottish football needs," he said. "Our crowds are very vocal and good numbers-wise support for such a small town.

"We are averaging crowds more than some of the Premiership teams. I think it's good enough and big enough."

Houston expects his team might have to score on Sunday if they are to come out on top after the two legs.

Indeed, although Falkirk were 1-0 winners on Thursday, he feels his team can improve on their performance.

"We were fortunate to win the game," he suggested. "We didn't keep the ball very well against Kilmarnock.

"It's not a trait I can accuse the players of, so I can't be too negative on it.

"The fact that we won the match against a Premiership side is still much better.

"To go in with a 1-0 win is much better than a 1-0 defeat."

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