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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 15:10 UK

Hughes wants more Bairns belief

Falkirk manager John Hughes
Hughes watched his side dominate possession for long spells

Falkirk manager John Hughes was left to rue Michael Higdon's penalty miss after losing out 1-0 to Rangers.

"For me, two words sum it up - belief and conviction. We played some good stuff but we just need to believe we can go and score goals," he said.

"The players have to believe me when I tell them they're good enough, although I felt my boys were outstanding. They passed the ball really well.

"Maybe the miss of the penalty turned the game."

The Bairns were the better team for much of the game, but lacked the killer touch up front.

They were made to pay when Rangers' new signing Andrius Velicka scored in 64 minutes from close range.

Hughes, though, feels he knows where Falkirk must improve. "Once Rangers scored we went chasing it a bit. We always seem to come back on ourselves," he said.

"Watching it as a coach, I can make it better, I know that. The players have to believe me.

"I've read Goldilocks and the Three Bears for 25 years. I'm only passing on that wisdom to them. We're at out best when we're playing expansive football."

Referring to Higdon's penalty, which Allan McGregor saved to his left, Hughes said: "Big Higgie was confident. We told him to put it straight down the middle, and he needed to hit it with a bit more conviction.

"He's a lovely big lad to have about the club. He just needs to take it on the chin."


The Bairns boss was pleased with the contributions of Scott Arfield and Jackie McNamara, but identified the area where Falkirk are struggling.

"It's the final third. Goals have to come from all over the place. You just can't rely on the strikers," Hughes said.

"It's just disappointing that the boys put so much into the game and never got anything out it.

"I'm so proud of them. I think my boys did exceptionally well."

see also
Falkirk 0-1 Rangers
09 Aug 08 |  Scottish Premier

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